A UK charity supporting autistic people is celebrating its 50th anniversary at its first service in Warrington, which opened in 1999.
Autism Initiatives provides specialist services that enhance the quality of life of more than 50 autistic people and their families from 15 sites in the region, including Lilford Court in Birchwood, where they provide invaluable autism specific support, working alongside people who live there.
Area Manager Chris Rowles said: “It’s fantastic for us to be able to celebrate such a milestone with everyone here at Lilford Court, which was the first service we started in the Warrington area. We work continuously in partnership with everyone we support, their families and other professionals involved in their care, to ensure that we meet people’s needs.”
Autism Initiatives was founded in 1972 in the North West by a Mum Pat Minshull, who experienced a lack of local services for her son, and now provides services for autistic children and adults including education, residential, short breaks, supported living, outreach, community resource centres, and social enterprises for employment skills and experience.
Chris added: “We have now developed 15 services across Warrington and Trafford including a regional office. We focus on health and wellbeing and the development of skills and strategies for life so that people we support can achieve their goals. We develop activities, opportunities and experiences around each person’s own wishes, abilities and understanding so that people can enjoy a life that they themselves value.”
As part of the celebrations, and due to expanding services, Autism Initiatives is now on a recruitment drive in and around Warrington. They currently employ 125 people from the local area.
Chris Rowles said: “It’s great that we are now able to expand our team and to meet the needs of more local people – we really are a family who are passionate about investing in staff and in their careers. This is a very exciting time for not just the team here but for our charity as a whole.”