A petition in support of a Welsh Autism charity, Autism Spectrum Connections Cymru, has gained over 100 signatures.
Aled Thomas of Penarth was inspired to launch the petition on learning about the Welsh Government’s Autism Strategy which does not include funding this service.
The petition was launched online and quickly gathered support from local people.
One person who has benfited from the charity commented: “This charity is vital in order for me to function and live away from home at university as a person with Asperger’s Syndrome”.
Another described it “an invaluable and unique service”.
Aled intends to present the petition to the Welsh Assembly Government’s Petitions Committee in the hope that they will consider funding the charity.
Autism Spectrum Connections Cymru is a one stop shop which provides support for adults with autism in south east Wales.
In October 2016, despite cross-party support, an Autism Bill in the Senedd was voted down by Labour, including by the party’s Cabinet Secretaries for health and public health.
Things they offer include social groups, one on one support, creative activities, benefit support and help with employment for people who are in work as well as those who are looking for a job.
Aled said that this has had a significant influence in improving his own life: “I enjoy the extra understanding of my condition here which I don’t find is easy to get in the outside world. I have found new hobbies and skills and have had the chance to socialise, make friends and to be understood and accepted for who I am”.
Aled contributed to a recent ITV Wales news report on the topic of living with autism as part of Autism Awareness Week.