Hundreds of people are to benefit from a huge boost to autism services in Birmingham and Solihull thanks to a charity’s £30,000 cash injection.
Autism West Midlands has secured a grant from education and training charity Landau, which runs a dedicated project supporting autistic people and their families, and those awaiting diagnosis, in the area.
The boost was in the latest round of grants announced by Landau as part of its All Age Autism Support Service (AAASS), which has awarded more than £690,000 to 28 organisations and charities, supporting more than supporting 2,600 people.
Landau chief executive Sonia Roberts said: “I’m delighted that the AAASS has been able to make these grants to help third sector groups in the region to do even more to help autistic people.
“We want to make people aware that there is advice and support out there – whether you have been diagnosed or are still awaiting diagnosis, we operate a service directory providing a single point of access to the support services available in Birmingham and Solihull at www.aaadirectory.co.uk
“There are more than 16,000 in the region who have a diagnosis of autism, and many more still going through the diagnosis process.
“Latest figures from NHS Digital show that more than 4,000 people suspected of having autism were waiting for an assessment after being referred by specialists in the Birmingham and Solihull area at the end of 2022.
“Coping with autism can be overwhelming for autistic people themselves, their families and carers, so I would urge people to reach out to some of the amazing groups who can help.”
Autism West Midlands plans to use the £29,903 it has received from AAASS for a telephone helpline which it says will support more than 700 people.
Henry Webster, operations manager at Autism West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our grant application to be able to deliver helpline support to people across Birmingham & Solihull.
“We have autism specialist advisors available who can focus on providing information, advice and guidance for autistic adults and parent/carers of autistic children. The funding has enabled us to employ advisors who will be able to specifically focus on helping people from Birmingham and Solihull and we will be able to ensure people will be signposted to services via the All-Age Autism Service Directory.
“We expect to receive more than 700 callers before March next year.”
The helpline can be reached on 0121 450 7575 from 8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday or by emailing [email protected]
Also receiving a grant was the Seven Up – A Chance to Play project, which was awarded £19,235 to provide after-school play sessions for primary aged autistic children at Hamilton Special School.
The sessions will cover two hours a day Monday to Thursday, which each of the 30 children registered enjoying a total of 144 hours of play across the life of the project.
Other grant recipients include the Fit for You project run by Childrens Quarter.
The grant will be used to provide inclusive play, arts, sports and youth services for autistic children and young people and siblings during school holidays. Sessions included in this project are provided by community groups and charities as part of the Children’s Quarter Co-operative.
The All-Age Autism Support Service is being led by Landau with funding provided by National Health Service England & NHS Improvement (NHSEI) in partnership with the Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group.
Organisations that run autism services in Birmingham or Solihull that are interested in finding out more about the scheme or applying for grant funding can visit www.allageautism.co.uk
Landau, which operates across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands, was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its work in Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility in 2021.