Aspie Trainers West Sussex is a training service supported by Impact Advocacy Service since its launch in April 2014. As the name implies, we are a team of Aspies (adults diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome) who deliver training sessions across Sussex and Brighton and Hove, which focus on portraying what it’s like to live with an ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition).
We are different because all of our training is designed and delivered by autistic people. From the start we wanted to make our training sessions fun, interactive, and full of useful suggestions on how to make services better for people living with an ASC (which now includes Asperger’s Syndrome).
Who are we?
How did the project come to exist?
In November 2013, a quality check was completed by people living with ASCs in order to assess the quality of the mental health services provided to them in West Sussex. One of the main findings of this piece of work was that mental health professionals received little (in some cases no) Autism training. When asked about this, the staff were keen to receive training from autistic people, but at the time there was nothing in place to facilitate this end. Recognising an opportunity, Impact Advocacy Service submitted a bid to West Sussex County Council’s Autistic Spectrum Conditions Small Grant Fund, through which this project came into existence.
In October 2015, Aspie Trainers were awarded 3 years worth of funding by West Sussex County Council’s Autistic Spectrum Conditions Small Grants Fund.
We secured further funding from the National Lottery Community Fund in March 2019, which means we are able to offer a limited amount of free training sessions, but in most cases we charge for our services.
How are we funded?
What are our aims?
We have three aims:
To develop the skills and confidence of our team of autistic individuals;
To acquire paid employment as trainers; and
To improve the local services offered to autistic individuals living in West Sussex.
What are our values?
We believe in honesty and respect.
We believe that we are more resilient than non-autistic people think.
We believe that autistic individuals are different, not less.
We believe that we are able to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, given the right support.
We believe that our voices should be heard when decisions are being made about us.
We believe that we can help you to help us!