They say a new broom sweeps clean, but residents in Croydon aren’t used to this being true (cough… Veolia… cough).
Although that seems to be changing, at least for the autism community.
After last May’s local elections, Jerry Fitzpatrick, the councillor from Addiscombe West ward, was appointed as the borough’s Autism Champion. In the last nine months he has made an appearance at countless events where he has taken every opportunity to listen to many people who are in some way connected to autism.
Whether you are autistic, a parent or carer of someone with autism, or a professional working in the autistic community, Fitzpatrick has listened.
Said one hard-working mother with an autistic teen, “Not only has Jerry listened, but he has been busy organising a local autism strategy.”
The Hear Autism project has been organised by the Council’s Autism Partnership Board in partnership with Healthwatch Croydon. Healthwatch Croydon will be publishing a report on the project.
In an email sent by Fitzpatrick this week, he said, “The council wants to hear the views of the autism community. The council will be writing a local autism strategy later this year to try to make life better for the autism community. And the council will take into account the views you express.
“What does the Council want to hear my views about?
“The council wants to hear your views about anything to do with autism in Croydon that you want to tell them about. You could express a few words about one thing. You could express lots of words about lots of things.
“You could express views about making schools better for autistic children. Or about making it better for autistic people to get work, or to get housing. You could express views about whether there is enough for autistic people (young or old) to do in their spare time.
“You could express views about whether there is enough support for carers.
“You could express views about what the Health Service is doing or not doing. Or about what the police and courts are doing or not doing for autistic people. Or about whether local businesses do enough to help autistic customers.
“Or you could express views about something I have not mentioned.
“I hope different autism groups will be holding Hear Autism events where you will be able to give your views.”
The flagship Hear Autism event will be at the Cherry Hub, 171 St James’s Road, Croydon, CR0 2BY, on Saturday April 6, from 10.30am to 4pm.
And anyone needing to contact Croydon’s Autism Champion can do so by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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