Labour MP Bill Esterson visits Sefton-based national charity Aut

Autism Initiatives chief executive Andrew Grainge, national director Kate Silver, Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson and his assistant Veronica Bennett.

Labour MP Bill Esterson visited Sefton-based national charity Autism Initiatives. 


The charity specialises in supported living for people with autism and Bill met John Lea, who lives at one of Autism Initiatives Homes in Merseyside. 


John explained the difference that Autism Initiatives has made to his life and how they have supported him over the years. 


Bill heard that John had not realised that he was going to be staying at the home and not going back to his family. Once staff realised this was a worry for John, they were able to explain to him that he was not going home and he was then able to get used to his new home. 


Autism Initiatives was started in the 1970s and now employs 2,000 people. They operate Peterhouse School in Southport and students at the school are producing high quality photographs on canvass. The first commission from the students was presented to Bill at the head office in Chesterfield Road in Crosby.


Bill said: "Services to people with autism spectrum condition are very important and having the right support and the right homes for people with autism can make the difference between them living independently and ending up in hospital unable to care for themselves. Good services can also be far less expensive than the alternative of hospital care and the approach of Autism Initiatives makes a big difference to the lives of people like John Lea and also the cost to the taxpayer. 


"It is a real credit to Sefton that we have such a successful national organisation based in Crosby and I was really impressed by the staff and by the quality of care which they provide. As much as £175 million was spent last year with 14 charities in the UK on care for people with autism spectrum conditions so it is important to make sure that the right understanding is developed of how to support people with autism.


"I was thrilled to be given such a lovely gift and was touched that the students at Peterhouse School wanted me to have their first commission. I would recommend the work to anyone wanting photo on canvass artwork. John was also very keen to tell me about his life and he also said that he was a strong Labour supporter and want Labour back in government, which was good to hear.


"I look forward to supporting Autism Initiatives and to help them and other autism charities in building understanding of the best way to support people with autism spectrum conditions. Thank you to chief executive Andrew Grainger and his staff for inviting me to meet them and discuss the challenges, which they face in providing a vitally important service for people with autism and their families."

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