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Birthday celebrations: Autism Early Support celebrates 20-year anniversary

Tuesday 24 May 2022

May 2022: Families, staff, trustees, and supporters gathered this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Buckinghamshire based charity Autism Early Support.


The charity, which has a specialist pre-school nursery in the village of Middle Claydon, worked tirelessly during covid to support autistic children


Chief Executive Sarah Sweet-Rowley said: “Children with Special Educational Needs were particularly vulnerable during the pandemic, with schools closed and cutbacks on additional support services. So, to be celebrating our 20th anniversary and to know we have been here not just throughout the pandemic but also before and for years to come, is something we are enormously proud of. Our twentieth birthday is a celebration for us all.”


Autism Early Support, originally known as the Puzzle Centre before its rebranding in 2019, was launched two decades ago by founder Alex Stanyer, who was awarded in MBE in 2019 for her services to young autistic children.


Alex MBE said: “I have learned so much from the children here and their families. It’s been and continues to be an absolute joy.”


Looking ahead, Autism Early Support is firmly focused on creating a sustainable future for the next 20 years and beyond. The charity’s trustees are prioritising investing in the nursery, and are looking into finding new premises, somewhere special, autism friendly and equipped to support families for generations to come.


Graham Wylie, Chair of Trustees, said: “Funding is never easy so the fact we are still here, making such a positive difference to lives, and are in a stable position is exceptional. Now, it’s time to improve our nursery environment – whether we stay here and invest or find a new building we can expand into.”


Another trustee, Alex Rowe, whose autistic son Elliot attended the charity’s pre-school nursery, added: “Elliot’s progress was literally life changing. Above all it was his social skills that really blossomed. At the start he could not be in a room with any noise and we were planning to home school. When he left Autism Early Support he was school ready.


“I wanted to thank the organisation that had made such a profound impact on our lives and as a trustee I am impressed every day by the professionals here who are right at the forefront of best practise.”


In its 20th year Autism Early Support has launched its regular giving campaign to help ensure, long term sustainable income for their work. Find out more HERE.


In its 20th year the charity has been commissioned by Buckinghamshire County Council to deliver a programme of support for families with children who are awaiting an assessment for ADHD or ASD.


This year the charity has also launched online Family Support Groups. Early next year the charity is planning to launch a parent web-portal which will provide on demand resources, support and training.


To find out more make sure you are signed up to the charity’s newsletter.


Find out more about the charity’s 20th year here: