Autism Networks (A.N) was established 1st December 2002. It was made operational by a group of like-minded parents, carers, professionals for the benefit of children and adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and their families.
Autism Networks (A.N)is situated in Crewe, it is a Registered Charity and Company Ltd by guarantee. It is run by a hardworking board of Trustees and many enthusiastic, unpaid volunteers working for the benefit of the service users.
It is our intention that all activities we provide should promote physical and social development, communication and self-motivation in an encouraging, friendly, supportive and fun environment. We impose no restrictions as to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.
It is our philosophy that all disabled people should have every opportunity to enjoy the best possible quality of life.
Autism Networks Resource Centre is open to anyone with or without a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder. We welcome parents, brothers, sisters, carers or anyone with an interest in Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Service users currently travel from most parts of Cheshire & North Staffordshire.
In 1997, a small group of concerned parents established a support group called Crewe & Nantwich Autistic support. There was no support for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and their families locally.
The group managed on a very small budget, as so many charities are when they start off. We used local meeting rooms in Crewe with a meeting each month. Two of the organisation’s founder members (John Hannon & Tony Roberts) both parents of children affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder . Both families were trying to find support that did not exist within the local area at the time. We all decided (along with Nigel Gray & Desmond Wong, also founder members) to do something about it. Tony who passed away was a driving force behind this support group and before his death he did witness our final goals.
In 1999, Crewe & Nantwich Autistic Support achieved National Autistic Society (NAS) Branch status and became NAS Crewe & Nantwich Branch.
1999 – 2002 the Branch achieved: –
As a branch of the National Autistic Society, we had representation on the Cheshire Autism Project Strategic Committee. In 2000, this project (funded by North & South Cheshire Health Authority) came to the end of its 3-year term.
The Project’s aim was to identify the needs of individuals and families affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Chesire. Figures based on the prevalence rates of individuals with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder and produced by the National Autistic Society. In Cheshire, Warrington and Halton there was an estimated 8,705 people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. This figure would comprise an estimated total of 1,913 with autism specific disorders occurring with generalised learning disabilities and 6,792 with high-functioning autistic disorder.
It was a disappointing end of the Cheshire Autism Project and the final report was not acted on. Our management committee decided that this type of official involvement did not provide the hands-on support families needed. We have since resigned from this type of activity to follow our own aims and philosophies.
Our members wanted to do more but under the NAS Branch rules we were restricted as to how much we were able to do. The matter was put to a vote and the Branch was closed. We parted on good terms with the NAS they left us to carry on operations at the fully equipped office space opened under their supervision.
2002 Autism Networks (A.N) was formed
In December 2002, Autism Networks (A.N) was established and it remains a parent-led volunteer organisation to this day.
Our long-term aim is to develop an autism resource centre. These aims were first drawn up in 2002 and became a reality in 2006. We successfully negotiated a license for the old Railway Veterans Institute. We took up residence started to develop the Autism Networks Recourse Centre September 2006.
From its very small beginnings in 1997, the Organisation has now matured as the only support network of its kind for people with ASD and their families within Cheshire, offering many benefits to those who use the facilities we provide.