As Chief Executive Officer of Autism Anglia, I am delighted to share our new strategic plan, highlighting the Charity’s principles, priorities, values, and vision for the future. 

Over the next two years we have set out what we feel are well-informed priorities that ensure our Charity provides the best possible autism services. This is an ambitious plan and we don’t doubt that we may have to adjust it along the way, Covid-19 taught us we cannot always foresee the future!

For us to achieve, we cannot ignore the external stress factors that are placing difficulties on us to get where we need to be. We are facing unprecedented times with local authorities scrutinising and, in some cases, even trying to reduce our fee levels. I believe all providers have never been so financially challenged. There is simply not enough money in social care funding, which, in turn, could seriously compromise the high-level quality of support and care we must continue to provide. Over the coming years, we are determined to continue to provide our crucial services and will continue to work in partnership with local authorities and commissioners to agree on appropriate levels of funding. We need to ensure those most vulnerable in our society remain well supported by us. 

The complexities of autism cannot be underestimated, so we must remain fully person-centered, with highly trained and skilled staff, this is essential to ensure individuals supported by Autism Anglia have the best quality of life they rightly deserve. 

There is a consensus within Autism Anglia that because we are operating in financially challenging times and that the climate is not conducive to rapid growth or expansion, our focus ought to be on the services we currently provide to ensure we deliver the highest quality personalised packages to the children and adults we support. However, there will always be opportunities and a need for a Charity like ours to develop new and innovative services that continue to meet the needs of the autistic community.

With this, I am delighted to say that in November 2019, we launched our new Diagnostic Service for children and adults in Essex, which also provides an appropriate level of post-diagnostic support, which is often missing. As part of our strategic aims, and to meet the high demand, we intend to increase our diagnostic services across the Region. We must do all we can to offer our expertise and help those most in need of seeking a diagnosis and ongoing support. 

It’s important than we continue to reach out to other organisations, nurturing positive relationships and partnerships, and share good practice. 

We also need to increase our awareness, fundraising, and community engagement initiatives, sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic has limited our ability to thrive in the community and this is something we are keen to evolve.  

It is fair to say that 2020 has been one of the most challenging times for Charities like ours. Thanks to our amazing staff, I am proud to say that across all our services, we had no confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst the pupils and people we support. The dedication, commitment, and care shown during such a difficult time has been incredible.

Finally, to ensure the Charity achieves its goals, now and in the future, we must remain resilient whilst continuing our mission which is to keep working together to put the needs of autistic people at the centre of everything we do.  Our leadership team and staff teams are all incredibly committed and passionate about our Charity and I have every faith in everyone within Autism Anglia to keep providing our amazing services for many years to come.

You can view the plan online here of download a PDF version of the Strategic Plan here.

Kate Hancock, Chief Executive Officer