Debbie Gadbury, Family Services Coordinator & Autism Hub Manager, Sycamore Trust

The Sycamore Trust, located in Liberty Shopping Centre, supports parents, carers and individuals affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorders and/or Learning Difficulties in Romford and neighbouring towns. Debbie was nominated as she goes above and beyond to help people, and their families, who are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders.

We sat down with Debbie to find out more about her day to day work and life in Romford. Debbie has worked at the Sycamore Trust as a Family Services Coordinator & Autism Hub Manager for 4 and a half years.  She works with individuals, parents and carers affected by Autism and her role can vary from day to day because individual family needs are very different. Offering advice, support and strategies, Debbie helps to complete benefit forms, support to attend meetings and help understand the individual’s diagnosis and often parents just need someone to talk to who understands as she is able to be empathic when supporting with families needs and issues.

The charity hold parent coffee mornings to enable parents to meet others with similar issues and at the Autism hub they also run social groups for young people and adults on the spectrum to come along, feel comfortable in the environment and socialise with others, build on their confidence and their self-help skills. Where the hub is situated, lots of people who are walking past, pop in to find out what they do, some for advice and support and some just for a quick chat!

We asked Debbie, what makes Romford a great place to work. She believes that it is a central place with lots of transport links in and out of the borough. There are lots of different things going on which the community can be involved in, and great Cafés for people to meet and socialise. Debbie has worked at The Autism Hub in Romford for 4 ½ years and it’s a good place to meet her clients as they can combine their visit with other activities. When not working at the Autism Hub, Debbie likes to relax in the Small Talk Tearooms and spend time with friends or family. She remembers one of her fondest memories of Romford was going shopping with her mum to the market spending time looking around the stalls and having a break in one of the cafés

The Small Talk Tearooms

Raphael’s Park, Romford

In her opinion, Debbie told us that “The best kept secret in Romford is Raphael’s Park as it’s a lovely place to relax have a long walk along a scenic route and feed the ducks” Also Time FM plays a huge part in the community, to name one would be providing gifts for children at Easter and Christmas” On being nominated as a Romford Business Hero, Debbie told us “I feel honoured to be nominated, I enjoy my job and find it very rewarding helping and supporting families” The charity will be holding a Dare to be Different day on Friday 3rd April to raise awareness and funds during Autism awareness week and have a new girls group starting at the Autism Hub on Saturdays for girls with high functioning autism aged 11 – 17.  For more information on a new click here Accredited Autism Awareness training