Autism charity to change its name

The 50-year-old charity says the move will 'reflect its continuing growth and vision for the future'

An autism charity that was set up by parents in the back of their shed more than 50 years ago has rebranded to “reflect its continuing growth and vision for the future”. 

Autism Wessex, a charity that employs nearly 500 people in the south of England, is changing its name to Autism Unlimited. 

It provides support to autistic people through education, residential and supported independent living.

The charity owns and operates Portfield School in Parley, near Christchurch, Dorset, which provides specialist teaching and care for students aged four to 19 and who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Siún Cranny, chief executive of Autism Unlimited, said: “Fifty years ago, Autism Wessex was founded by some very dedicated parents in a garden shed. 

“Their drive and determination to build a better future for those living with autism is still the focal point of our charity today; we exist to open minds to the fact that every autistic person has unique skills and abilities, can achieve great things and lead a purposeful life.

“The world has changed and so have we.  We are growing and evolving and our new name and identity reflects the possibilities which should exist for autistic people, as they do for the rest of society.  

“The fresh identity also represents our growing breadth of services and the organisation we want to be in the future.”

The charity could not disclose the cost of the rebrand. 

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