'We're incredibly proud of our new team' - Service launches in Lincolnshire to help autistic people and their families and carers

​A new service has launched in Lincolnshire to help autistic people of all ages, and their families and carers, find and access local support.
The Virtual Autism Hub team.The Virtual Autism Hub team.
The Virtual Autism Hub team.

The Virtual Autism Hub, run by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT), is one of the first of its kind in the UK.A dedicated team is now taking enquiries to offer non-clinical advice, signposting to local groups and services, information about autism and routes to diagnosis.

Funded by Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board, the service also offers practical support such as help in filling out forms and accompanying people to first meetings.

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Neil Wells, Virtual Autism Hub service manager at LPFT, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our new team, almost all of whom have personal experience of autism. Our combined passion to change things for the better has been a driving force in shaping this service.

“We know autistic people and their families often need help at many different stages. The path to diagnosis, how to deal with a diagnosis and navigating new challenges thrown up by life mean it is important there is always somewhere to turn. Up to now, it’s perhaps not always been clear who can help or where to turn.”

As well as the advice service, the hub aims to harness the already vital work underway by community and support groups for autistic people dotted across the county. An annual grants programme will award funding to bolster the strength and reach of these groups to create a co-ordinated county-wide network.

Anne Marie Gregory, project manager of the grant programme for the Virtual Autism Hub, said:“Local volunteer-led groups already support so many families and we are committed to helping them thrive. In May we will announce the successful groups who will receive grants from our first wave of funding. This will help those organisations deliver even more support to autistic people and their families. Watch this space!”

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A total of £100,000 is set to be awarded in May to new and established groups that applied for the first phase of funding. The team is committed to supporting groups to grow and additional funding will be available until at least 2026.

To find out more about the service, visit www.lpft.nhs.uk/virtual-autism-hub or contact the team by emailing [email protected]

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