About this cause
Autism Berkshire was set up in 1990 to help and support anyone affected by autism. We aim to enhance current provision and support with the purpose of improving the quality of life for all people affected by autism within Berkshire. We do this by: • Providing information & advice through events, workshops, outreach & newsletters; • Running accessible social and leisure activities for children and adults; • Providing specific autism training & support; • Working with education, health, emergency & employment services and 6 local authorities in Berkshire to deliver autism appropriate services; • Raising awareness to promote greater understanding. Our work supports parents, carers and autistic individuals, many of whom are socially isolated & experiencing a range of mental health problems.
How this cause brings people in the community together
We are seeking support for the Help & Advice line which is one way in which we work to provide bespoke support to families and individuals. This is the only autism-specific helpline in Berkshirel. Our qualified staff currently answer nearly 200 calls a month and multiple emails a day, as well as manage a closed online forum. The issues that the team address are complex and include suicidal thoughts, dealing with challenging behaviour, school exclusions, securing a diagnosis, contact with the Criminal Justice System, inappropriate sexual behaviour, self-harm, bullying, hate crime, and strategies for online safety. Feedback shows that this comprehensive and detailed service fulfils a vital need which is not being met elsewhere.