Autism Anglia has launched a brand new service to support young people and their families with autism in North East Essex.

Autism Anglia has received funding from the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide a new Advocacy Service in North East Essex for young people up-to age twenty-five.

The North East Essex Advocacy Service (NEEAS) aims to help families navigate the care and support they often so desperately need. 

Autism Anglia’s advocates will offer independent, impartial and confidential support to families, carers, autistic children, and young people, age 0 -25 years, pre or post diagnosis of autism in Colchester and Tendring. This includes help to navigate both the clinical aspect of their care and non-clinical services such as general or individual advice about their condition and educational, social and financial support.

The advocates aim to enhance the life choices for the autistic community in North East Essex through the following areas:-

  1. Education
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Welfare Rights
  4. Housing
  5. Health
  6. Social Care

The advocacy service will provide a one stop referral route to respond to all referrals from light touch needs to more complex cases.  Taking action to help people secure their rights, represent their interests and access the services they need.  The advocates will work in partnership with the people they are supporting and help them break through barriers if their voice is not being heard.

The dedicated and knowledgeable team at Autism Anglia, many of whom have lived experience of autism; will provide support at all levels. The charity believes that by having the support of advocates, young people with autism and their families will feel empowered and confident in their rights and decisions.

Kate Hancock, chief executive at Autism Anglia said:

I am delighted that the funding provided by North East Essex CCG will ensure we are able to meet the vital needs of young autistic people and their families in North East Essex.

We are frequently contacted by families who are in desperate situations and feel lost in the system and not sure where to turn to.

This service aims to reduce this and will have a wider impact on other services in the area.

We already work in partnership with many other local organisations and will use this network to ensure we are reaching out and utilising support already available.

We do hope to expand this service both geographically and by age range in the future.

Autism is a developmental condition which affects the function of the brain. It affects the way that someone interacts with and relates to other people, and for autistic people, the world can be a confusing, unpredictable and sometimes scary place.

Autism is called a spectrum condition because it affects people in different ways and to different degrees. Whilst many autistic people can lead independent lives with jobs, relationships, and social lives they may still encounter difficulties which will require additional support. On the other end of the spectrum many will require more intensive support and life-long care.

Individuals can refer themselves or their children into the advocacy service.  Referrals are also welcomed from Professionals including Care Co-ordinators, Social Workers, Schools and Health Professionals from the North East Essex area.    

For more information or to access the North East Essex Advocacy Service

visit www.autism-anglia.org.uk/advocacy or call 01206 577678

The charity is also appealing for volunteers to help support this service.  If you have experience of or an understanding of autism and would like to find out more about volunteering for the charity please visit www.autism-anglia.org.uk/volunteer Full training will be provided.

This service forms part of The Early Intervention and Family Offer  - supporting young people and families with neurodevelopmental conditions alongside The Maze Group & Families in Focus.

The Early Intervention and Family Offer provides services to children, young people and families to support the management of neurodevelopmental conditions in young people aged 0-25.