West Cheshire Autism Hub – first ebulletin

Welcome to the very first issue of West Cheshire Autism Hub’s ebulletin, which is a great way for everyone involved in this project to hear about our plans for the future.

The West Cheshire Autism Hub is a welcoming place for everyone to visit in the heart of our community. Our focus is to make sure autistic adults aged 16 and above have free access to the services they need, providing personalised support to both them and their family.

The project is run by volunteers and partners working in services across west Cheshire. We recognise the gap in services for autistic adults, particularly if they can’t access other health and social care services, so we aim to bring about real and meaningful change and help autistic adults receive support, advice and services.

At the West Cheshire Autism Hub, we want to create a social environment where autistic adults and their families feel valued and welcome.

While the Autism Hub is primarily for autistic people aged 16 and above, we recognise autistic children grow up to be autistic adults so we want to create close links with local schools and groups, hosting a range of activities that will help their transition to adulthood.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought challenges for everyone in society and the Autism Hub is no different. Even though we can’t currently access our base at The Bluecoat in Chester, we’ve decided to launch the Autism Hub virtually.

Working with a group of autistic adults, we’ve developed our new branding, which we hope you’ll all like. We’ve also been pressing ahead with the design and layout for the building itself so it’s ready for you to make the most of the services on offer.

Our aims

  • Keep autistic individuals and their families at the heart of everything we do.
  • Explore innovative ways of working in partnership to create a valuable service.
  • Value everyone equally, respecting their individual differences.
  • Work proactively to meet the needs of autistic adults and their families and raise our profile across west Cheshire.

What we have to offer

  • A NICE-compliant autism service based on current evidence and support in line with the Long-Term Plan and Transforming Care.
  • Post-diagnostic support for those who have recently received a diagnosis.
  • An opportunity to meet a variety of professionals who can offer autism-specific advice.
  • Supported volunteering and internship opportunities, as well as social enterprises run by autistic adults.
  • Workshops and advice sessions run by a range of different community services.
  • An area to hold meetings, training and information services.
  • A chance to meet other autistic adults, share experiences and support each other.
  • Social and community group activities.
  • Resources and information available to browse.
  • An opportunity to talk to experienced volunteers with lived experience who can signpost to further services.
  • Autism mentors who can help you look at your goals, while helping you develop a plan to overcome any barriers.
  • Peer mentors provided by autistic adults volunteering with us.
  • Advice with issues around access to services, health, housing, benefits, employment and adult education.
  • Help with filling in forms.
  • Improved support for young autistic adults transitioning to adult services.
  • Training to improve knowledge and understanding of autism for professionals working with autistic people.

Have your say

To make sure autistic people have a say in the West Cheshire Autism Hub and how services will be run, we’ve set up a Board that includes a number of people who will be using the services. Even though we’ve already formed our Board, there are plenty of ways you can get involved and share your views by contacting Karen McGuinness. You can email: karen.mcguinness@westcheshireautismhub.co.uk or contact her another way you’re comfortable with.

We’d also like to hear from you about what you’d like to see included in future editions of the ebulletin. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to get in touch with Karen on the same details above.

We’ve set up social media accounts with our new branding so everyone involved with the Autism Hub can interact with the latest information and advice.

We’re also working on a new website, which will include information about the different partners involved with this project, details about what services you’ll be able to access when we can use The Bluecoat, online resources for you to make the most of and much more.

Please help us spread the word about the Autism Hub and encourage others to get involved. You’re going to be at the heart of everything we do.

“I am confident with my neurodifference, I wouldn’t change anything other than maybe people’s attitudes and their understanding.” – Jon Adams, 2016


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