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New scheme delivers £1million funding to support autism services in Birmingham and Solihull

Community organisations in Birmingham and Solihull are invited to bid for more than £1 million of funding to develop new services, which will improve the health and wellbeing of people with autism.

The All-Aged Autism Support Service is being led by Midlands-based supported employment and training charity Landau with funding provided by National Health Service England & NHS Improvement (NHSEI) in partnership with the Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group.

As part of the programme, community-based organisations will be invited to apply for grants so that they can improve existing services for people with autism and create new services.

Landau, which has its headquarters in Telford, will also develop a new service directory as part of the scheme to make it easier for people with autism, their parents, families and carers to understand what services exist in their local area and how they can gain access to them.

Sonia Roberts, CEO of Landau, said there was an urgent need to improve healthcare for people with autism and the new All-Aged Autism Support Service will be designed and produced by several highly experienced experts.

“National research shows that people with autism die on average 16 years earlier than the general population, which increases further if they have learning disabilities,” she said.

“Across Birmingham and Solihull there is a real determination to improve the quality and access to services provided to our autism community, so that we can begin to reverse this trend. This new scheme will not only improve but also increase the number of integrated community support services on offer.

“Crucially, it will provide more timely access to support and encourage self-management skills. It will be a complete game-changer, filling in the gaps that currently exist in autism service provision and bring about new innovative services — we are excited about the potential of this project.”

The All-Aged Autism Service was officially launched on Wednesday May 25, at The Tally Ho Conference Centre on Pershore Road, Birmingham.

Landau has been helping people with learning disabilities, including those with autism, into sustainable employment for the last 27 years.

Annually, it helps in the region of 3,000 vulnerable individuals back into the workplace or into training schemes through its specialist support.

In 2021 it was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its work in Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

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Sonia Roberts, CEO of Landau

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