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Anna’s guest at Women’s Radio Station was Sally Lawrence




I am a mother of three children.  Simon, my middle child, is now 31.  He is severely autistic, non-verbal, has epilepsy, complex needs, and challenging behaviour including PICA. He needs 24 hour 1:1 care. At the age of 8 he went to Prior’s Court School in Berkshire, a specialist school for those with severe autism.  He thankfully got a place in their Young Adult Provision when he was 19, so stayed there until he was 26.  
Meanwhile, we were having talks with Surrey County Council about where Simon would go after Prior’s Court as there was nothing appropriate for him back in Surrey, and we were not prepared for him to be sent to live in Yorkshire or any other far-flung county
where there may have been suitable provision.  The council was not interested in setting up anything new in Surrey (even though there were several of his age from Surrey at Prior’s Court) but eventually we persuaded them to do so, and Linden Farm is the result.
In 2015 we set up our charity “The Simon Trust” and agreed to work in partnership with Surrey County Council; they would build the accommodation and we would raise money to provide the “extra essentials” that these young people would need in order to have a meaningful life at Linden Farm.  
We worked flat-out for 4 years with fund-raising events until Covid lockdowns stopped us doing so, and so far we have provided about £200,000 worth of facilities at Linden Farm … a 400 metre cycle track, a Sensory Room, a Cookery Room, bikes, trikes including a side-by-side trike, a large Bike Shed, an allotment with poly tunnels and all the necessary gardening tools and plants that go with it, a roundabout, a swing, a wooden Trim Trail, and more.










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