Attention on autism

636. Jane Stanford-Beale (Reading)

The head of a Berkshire charity volunteers her time to support people living with autism across the county.

Jane Stanford-Beale, from Reading, is the voluntary Chief Executive of Autism Berkshire. She was inspired to get involved with the charity after her son’s autism diagnosis and now volunteers full time to maximise the impact the organisation has across Berkshire. Under Jane’s leadership the charity provides specialist services, including a helpline and accessible leisure activities, as well as training including workshops, publications and support for public services.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Your remarkable commitment to Austism Berkshire is improving the lives of people with autism across the county. Under your leadership, the charity is providing much needed activities for families, as well as supporting public bodies to improve the services they provide.”

Jane said:

“I’m honoured to receive a Point of Light Award. I feel it is not just recognition for me, but for all the other volunteers and staff who contribute to the work of Autism Berkshire, helping people living with autism throughout the county.

“Having campaigned for better support for children and families, it was wonderful that the charity was commissioned by the local NHS to help families across Berkshire both before and after their children are diagnosed with autism, as part of the Local Transformation Plan for Child and Mental Health Services (CAMHS). We set up five new youth groups and it is fantastic seeing the progress our young people are making.

“Running a small charity is challenging and demanding but also rewarding. When people say how advice and support we provide, or a service they benefit from, has made a difference to them, that helps to motivate me and encourages our efforts to further improve and expand what we offer.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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