Well here it is, an awful mugshot but we are proud to be part of this amazing idea. We will take the shame. We are still fundraising and our fundraiser address is http://www.justgiving.com/Autasty
The restaurant will be opening soon but we still need sensory equipment. This stuff is not cheap but the benefits outway the costs.
We have applied for loans, grants and charitable status. However this all takes time and in order for us to open before Christmas with a special Christmas lunch we have decided to continue fundraising.
please please share our fundraiser and donate if you can, just £1 would make a huge difference, like our fb page, search Autasty Restaurant. Follow us on twitter @autasty. Keep up with our progress and you will see how we are doing and where we are spending the money raised.
The more people we reach the more we will raise.
Thank you. Here is the link to the fundraiser https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/autastyrestaurant. Or you can donate via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well it’s been nearly two years in the planning but finally we are getting closer to opening the UK’s first sensory adapted restaurant!
We have found the perfect venue and you would think ‘yay go you’ but no, luck certainly is not on our side, funding is the worst thing ever to apply for and it’s actually degrading and insensitive, it makes you feel small, ignorant people who have no concept of ASD say ‘NO’ and it makes me want to scream. What do we have to do to get our point across, what do we have to do to make them understand that people with ASD have as much right to dine out as a family as they do! It’s infuriating.
I guess unless you are a parent or carer of someone on the spectrum or your on the spectrum yourself, then you just wont get it. You just won’t see why we want to do this, how we can do this and most importantly you will never understand the difference this will make to people.
This isn’t some pie in the sky idea developed by rich entrepreneurs, no this is inspired by my own son who actually gave me the idea, it’s inspired by my 3yr old who has just been diagnosed too but most importantly it is inspired by YOU. Every single one of you out there on the spectrum. We understand, we understand the smells and noises In a restaurant can ruin your meal, we understand you might not want your peas to touch your carrots but most of all we understand what it’s like for people on the spectrum to be judged or stared at because the sensory overload has caused you to ‘meltdown’ for the want of a better word.
We don’t care if you flap, spin and eat with your fingers, we don’t care if you have Jelly and Chips for your dinner. Because we don’t judge, we don’t stare or mutter ‘that woman’s kid needs a good slap’ under our breaths, we embrace you, we adore you and we honour you. We can’t wait to welcome you and we can’t wait to have some of you working alongside us.
We will never stop fighting to open the restaurant, we will keep applying for funding and grants in the hope one day someone we meet understands us, we will continue to fundraise ourselves and WE WILL get the restaurant open, complete with sensory room, tactile wall panels and a diverse menu with sectional plates. We will keep listening to you and your fantastic ideas because this is YOUR restaurant, we are just your voice.
We need to raise £1200 and currently have a fundraiser in progress, if you believe in our restaurant, if you understand why, please please share it and help us get Autasty Viral, it is only the first restaurant of this is successful we won’t be stopping there that’s for sure.
One day we hope to have an Autasty near you and welcome you either as a customer or colleague. Autasty and it’s staff and customers are the future.
What have we been up to of late I hear you asking, well we have been busy fundraising, planning and deciding on menus. Menus is the tough one, how do we please everybody, we must get this right, sensory sensitivity plays a huge part in public places and can often be the cause of meltdowns, our research has shown that families avoid such places to minimise stress to their loved one, we can never change Autism but we can at least try and do something to help.
A place families can come for a meal without sensory overload and enjoy family time together, family time is something that can often be lacking, this is why it is vital we get this right.
So our plans are to have a versatile diverse menu, a place when you can phone or book online the meal you would like at a time that suits and when you arrive your meal is ready, no long waiting times. A menu that you can choose from and mix and match on sectional plates, a place where you can relax in a sensory room if it’s all a little overwhelming and a place families feel accepted, no staring, no ignorant comments. No words of advice such as ‘ that child needs a damn good smack’! Yes I had that one on more than one occasion it’s just as well I’m a civilised human being and didn’t respond by giving them a damn good slap!
Our passion is Autism, we live it we embrace it and we are looking forward to extending our ‘ASD family’ and making new friendships. To be there with a knowing smile and a helping hand. We know the struggles you face and the despair you feel sometimes, we have been there. We are still there! But knowing your not alone can go along way.
Every person on the spectrum is as unique as they are amazing.
So with that in mind we are busy beavering away building ‘the dream’
Oh and we are putting our glad rags on and dolling ourselves up as The Courier Newspaper has heard our story and is running an exclusive. the Courier Believes in AuTasty and that is amazing. X
It’s crazy, we have had meetings with MPs, businesses and been approached by the papers, our Facebook and Twitter are going crazy, never in a million years did we think this would be so popular, shows a clear need for change.
We intend on running consultancy to other restaurants in a vain attempt to get them to be more aware of ASD clients, how they can help change their venues to a more suitable environment. We will go into colleges and speak to chefs of the future. One things for sure, we are not alone in this mission to build an ASD friendly restaurant. People from all over the country have already approached us to build in their area.
Today we have spoken about Franchising, once our pilot restaurant is up and running we will be looking at this, we want to out AuTasty on the map, we want to see One in every city, why shouldn’t we?
‘Until all the pieces fit’ and hopefully this will be one small piece of the puzzle fitting!
A bit about the crazy woman behind this idea and my lovely friends and family
Mum of 4, two boys two girls, both boys have additional needs with one being on the spectrum, Having had 3 children now 20,17 and 12 in my infinate wisdom I decided to start the whole process over again at the young age of 42! Daughter number 2 is now 9 months old!
When my eldest 3 got to an age where they did not rely on me so much i started my own business, i opened a Bridal Boutique, this enabled me to work when i wanted to and be there for my ASD son. It works well, baby now comes to work with me and can often be found hiding in the gowns or peeking under curtains.
My Partner, Steven is a driving instructor, he has a daughter with additional needs from a previous relationship. We have 2 dogs 4 cats and a menagerie of pets all rescued or unwanted. Life is full and hectic.
And then it happened…in a nano second I decided I wanted to open a restaurant, not just any restaurant, a place where ASD families could go and enjoy a meal in a sensory adapted restaurant, I had no idea if it would work or was even possible, I just knew I had to do something to relieve the stress of other parents and carers, to take away some of the pressures that I had endured on the occasions we had attempted to visit a restaurant! and so our story begins….
I am not one to sit around, so in a day I had built a business plan, made appointments at business gateway, found a suitable restaurant and started some Market Research. I drove Steven my Partner crazy trying to explain my idea and then I roped in my Friends to help.
Lorraine… Mum of 5 (and various pets just like me) 2 of which are on the spectrum and her partner in the forces, complete loon and lovely lady
Jackie….. Mum of 2, one of which is on the spectrum, lovely lady and must be nuts to put up with me and Lorraine!
We are now registered as a Social Enterprise, Jackie and Lorraine have been working on obtaining funding through local businesses and Go Fund Me whilst I do the Business side of it and the main planning.
We ran a survey monkey and approached people on an Autism Forum for their opinions and suggestions, we were overwhelmed with the positive responses and support that we were given, it is amazing and is driving us forward everyday.
AuTasty was born, named by a forum readers son who is on the spectrum, we thought this was a fantastic name and describes our dream perfectly.
The Newspapers heard our plans and have asked for an exclusive, we can not believe how fast this has taken off and how many parents and carers have said, ‘this is a much needed service’
We now have a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AuTasty, We have registered as a Social Enterprise, have a clear mission statement and business plan, we are now at the stage of applying for funding through grants and fundraising through our Go Fund Me Page. http://www.gofundme.com/zqr6d5w
Please follow us to keep up to date with our plans and progress.
AuTasty may be coming to a town near you soon!
#autism #restaurant #food #crazyidea
After 17 years of raising a son on the spectrum and on many occasions pondering the lack of ‘Family Time’ we have been able to have due to lack of understanding of ASD in many Business sectors. I have a dream, a dream to create the UKs 1st ASD adapted restaurant!
It has never been done before, it is a fresh and challenging venture. From planning to opening day will be a challenge and I would like to share our journey with you, in the hope that other businesses will take heed and follow our example, in the hope that Many people on the spectrum, their parents and carers will know this… We are building the dream for you!