West Cheshire Autism Hub celebrates successful funding bids

The West Cheshire Autism Hub has received two grants from NHS England to deliver valuable services for autistic adults and their families.

The Autism Hub, which will be based at The Bluecoat in Chester once it’s safe to officially open, is a welcoming space for everyone. It is run by and for autistic adults and their families, working closely with a number of local community groups that support them. The likes of Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) NHS Foundation Trust, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Vivo Care Choices are also heavily involved.

The Autism Hub has received nearly £45,000 in funding from NHS England to work with partners and deliver a Brain in Hand project, as well as a post-autism diagnostic course and mentoring support.

The Brain in Hand project combines technology and professional support so people can access help whenever and wherever they need it, providing opportunities for them to self manage their condition and overcome challenges to be the best they can. The project has been delivered in other areas and has seen anxiety levels among autistic people drop by 31 per cent, with 88 per cent of people coping better with problems and feeling more confident.

The post-autism diagnostic course will last six weeks and the Autism Hub will provide an environment for autistic people and their families to feel valued for who they are. Mentoring support will then be available for a further six months, with plans to put in place longer-term networks of mentoring support and friendship and support circles. Support can also be delivered online during the pandemic for those who’d prefer that option. Many autistic adults without a learning disability are diagnosed late on in life so this course will be a useful resource for people following their diagnosis.

Karen McGuinness, Strategy Manager at the West Cheshire Autism Hub, said: “We’re delighted to receive this latest set of funding to help us deliver two valuable services.

“We can’t thank all our partners enough for their continued support. It’s fantastic to have so many organisations working together on this project in Cheshire West and Chester.

“Despite the pandemic, we’ve made a lot of progress since we launched virtually last summer and we’re looking forward to welcoming autistic adults and their families to the Autism Hub.

“This is a much-needed project and the people who use our services will always be at the heart of everything we do.”

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