The national autism strategy requires that adults with autism and parents or carers should be involved in the development of local services. The Croydon Autism Partnership Board (APB) considers autism issues relating to all ages, bringing together key local people and organisations such as those who provide healthcare, local employers and voluntary and charitable groups. The APB exists to set clear directions for improved services for the autistic community of Croydon.

The APB needs new members in the following categories:

• Three carers of children or young people on the autism spectrum
• Three carers of adults on the autism spectrum
• Three adults on the autism spectrum
• One young person on the autism spectrum who is above the age of 16

Support will be provided to enable those on the spectrum to take part in meetings. Any individual with an interest in autism in Croydon is welcome to attend to observe board meetings provided they have made a prior request to the board chair, and may speak with the agreement of the board.

Councillor Jerry Fitzpatrick, Croydon Council’s Autism Champion and chair of the APB, said: “This is an important time for the Croydon autism community. People are making their needs and concerns known through the council’s Hear Autism initiative, and I want to make the APB stronger by including more representatives of those on the spectrum and carers.”

Cllr Fitzpatrick is particularly keen to receive applications from those on the autism spectrum and carers who have a record of active involvement in voluntary organisations which provide or campaign for services for Croydon’s autistic community, and who have a commitment to consultation and communication with those on the autism spectrum and their carers about issues before the board.

To find out more about the board with a view to becoming a member, contact jerry.fitzpatrick@croydon.gov.uk