New Champions making Liverpool autism-friendly

ORGANISATIONS from across Liverpool were presented with their Autism Charter Certificate this week, after working with Autism Together to become Autism Champions, in a bid to make Liverpool the first autism-friendly City Region.

The charter, written by people on the autism spectrum, asks organisations to train their staff in autism awareness and make their venues more autism friendly by making small changes, such as introducing clearer signage. Once the charter is signed, they become official members of the Liverpool Autism Champions scheme.

More than 20 organisations across the region have now signed the charter and joined the scheme, with more than 700 employees having autism awareness training, including the Merseyside Police Community Engagement team, Liverpool City College, Fiveways Barbers and Liverpool ONE.

Yvonne Crowhurst, head of the autism training and advisory service, who heads up the Champion’s scheme said: “Presenting our new Champions their certificates was a great moment after months of hard work from all involved. The response to Autism Together’s request for greater accessibility and acceptability increases for those on the autistic spectrum has been overwhelming embraced by almost 40 organisations – large and small- who have signed up to this significant and effective venture. To say thank you seems inadequate but the knowledge that they have the capability of changing the lives of those on the autistic spectrum will, hopefully, be thanks enough as their efforts are appreciated by all those connected to autism.”

The Liverpool Autism Champions project was launched in April 2016 and is run by campaigners from Wirral-based charity Autism Together. Working in partnership, the team has delivered more than 1,200 hours of training in its bid to make Liverpool one of the UK’s first autism-friendly cities.

Sergeant Paul Meath, Community Policing Sergeant at Merseyside Police, said: “We are very proud to have been made Autism Champions. Merseyside Police is determined to provide the best quality of service we can for people with autism and their families. This initiative will further help us protect vulnerable people within our communities and we are very grateful for the support of Autism Together who have helped us achieve this.”