Cheshire West and Chester Council company Vivo Care Choices has helped the brand-new West Cheshire Autism Hub get ready for its virtual launch.
The Autism Hub will be a welcoming space for autistic people to visit and access services, such as post-diagnostic support, supported volunteering and internship opportunities, social and community group activities and much more.
Organisations from across west Cheshire that deliver autism services are involved in the project, which is supported by the likes of the Council, NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
While the Autism Hub will eventually be based at The Bluecoat in Chester, it has had to launch virtually for the time being because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Vivo has been working closely with the Autism Hub in the background to get The Bluecoat ready, bring partners on board and develop a unique brand for the project.
West Cheshire Autism Hub aims
-Keep autistic adults and their families at the heart of everything it does.
-Explore innovative ways of working in partnership to create a valuable service.
-Value everyone equally, respecting their individual differences.
-Work proactively to meet the needs of autistic adults and their families and raise its profile across west Cheshire.
Alistair Jeffs, Managing Director of Vivo, said: "We're delighted to be supporting the West Cheshire Autism Hub.
"The plan was for the Autism Hub to be up and running by now at The Bluecoat, but there has been a change in direction because of COVID-19.
"The Autism Hub has been launched virtually and plenty of hard work is being put in over the next couple of months to make sure The Bluecoat is ready for when it's safe to open.
"At Vivo, we support autistic people and those with learning disabilities so it's going to be an important service for us moving forward.
"Everyone involved in the project is really excited as it's important we have space like this that is easily accessible for all autistic adults and their families."
"While plans are being put in place for the Autism Hub to open at The Bluecoat when it is safe to do so, the information and advice autistic adults will be able to access online in the meantime will be really useful.
"This is going to be an exciting project for people in communities across west Cheshire to get involved with."
Tracey Cole, NHS Cheshire CCG Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships, said: "The Clinical Commissioning Group is proud to be supporting the development of a new Autism Hub in Chester. It is really important that people living with autism are able to access support in a calm and welcoming environment.
"Establishing the Autism Hub amid the COVID-19 response is testament to the power of working in partnership to support local people."
The West Cheshire Autism Hub is now active on social media.
If anyone wants to get involved with the West Cheshire Autism Hub, or has any questions about the project, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.