2nd September 2019

Organisations and groups that support adults and children with autism spectrum disorder and their families are being invited to pitch for a share of £200,000 funding.

The fund helps people of all ages who are on the autism spectrum to participate in a wide range of activities that will help them to live independently within their communities. It also helps local people to play an active role in promoting and maintaining good mental and physical health for themselves and others.

The funding is a one-off amount from Lincolnshire County Council and South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and will be managed by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).

Projects that are successful in receiving funding will join LPFT’s Autism Support Network, which runs alongside the already established and very successful Managed Care Network, a collection of community groups which offer support and various activities to help keep people living well in their communities.

Jane Marshall, Director of Strategy at LPFT said:

"We are really excited to be able to expand the community funding we offer, and look forward to building a bigger community resource for people with autism.

“When we talk to service users, carers and the wider public we often hear that people find it difficult to find projects and activities that can support people with autism. Yet we know that social groups and activities can have such a huge impact on people’s quality of life and prevent deterioration in their mental wellbeing.

We are hoping to see a wide range of activities and projects that will help people develop a greater sense of personal wellbeing, improve coping and self-care, increase motivation, hope and confidence, reduce isolation and improve physical health. Activities could be social support and friendship groups, formal and informal learning, skills and qualifications, supported volunteering and community participation activities.”

Chair of the Lincolnshire Autism Partnership Board, Richard Eccles added: “The increased range of support and activities in the community form a cornerstone in the implementation of the Autism Partnership Board’s updated strategy.”

Justin Hackney, Assistant Director of Specialist Adult Services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "The Managed Care Network for mental health needs has achieved many positive results for the people of Lincolnshire. It is with great delight that we have been able to expand the brilliant work of the Managed Care Network for people with autism."

Applications open on 2 September and the deadline for submission is 3pm on 10 October 2019.

For more details about the Autism Support Network fund and how to apply, please visit www.lpft.nhs.uk/autism-support-network or contact the team via phone on 01529 222 244 or email AutismNetwork@lpft.nhs.uk.

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