Sheffield Autism Partnership Network monthly meeting agenda for Tues 28 Sept

Sheffield Autism Partnership (SAPN) next monthly meeting will take place on Tuesday 28 September (10:30am–12:30pm) with all interested parties welcome to attend.

Melissa Simmonds, Adult Autism Project Coordinator at Voluntary Action Sheffield, will be talking about grants SAPN is making available to the Voluntary and Community Sector.

Guest speaker Karen Walke from the South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau (SYFAB) will discuss the ways to fill out grant applications to give organisations the best possible chance of receiving funding.

Meeting rules

  1. Please mute your microphone in the meeting, and only unmute yourself during the breakout session.
  2. You do not have to show your face, and can keep your video off if this makes you feel more comfortable
  3. Please place your Name, role and organisations/charities name in the Zoom chat, as we will not have enough for everyone to introduce themselves during the meeting (example below).
  4. Please place any questions you have in the zoom chat, and we will answer them during the Q&A session.

Anything that cannot be answered will be taken away and answered in a timely fashion.

The National Strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults: 2021 to 2026

The National Strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults: 2021 to 2026, was released by the government in July. It is quite a wordy document so I am sharing their key commitments outlined in chapter 2, titled “Chapter 2: our roadmap for the next 5 years

Improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society:

we will significantly improve the public’s understanding and acceptance of autism, and show that autistic people feel more included and accepted in their communities. We also want the public to understand how autism can affect people differently, including the difference in how autistic women and girls present, and to help change people’s behaviour towards autistic people and their families. We want many more businesses, public sector services and different parts of the transport system to become more autism-inclusive, so that autistic people can access these spaces and services, just like everyone else.

Improving autistic children and young people’s access to education and supporting positive transitions into adulthood:

we want the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) system to enable autistic children and young people to access the right support, within and outside of school. We want schools to provide better support to autistic children and young people, so they are able to reach their potential, and to show that fewer autistic children are permanently excluded or suspended from school due to their behaviour. We will make improvements to the support autistic people get in their transitions into adulthood, so that more autistic people can live well in their own communities, find work or higher education or other opportunities. This is important in preventing more young people from avoidably reaching crisis point or being admitted into inpatient mental health services.

Supporting more autistic people into employment:

we will make progress on closing the employment gap for autistic people, ensuring that more people who are able and want to work can do so and that those who have found a job are less likely to fall out of work. We want more employers to be confident in hiring and supporting autistic people, and to improve autistic people’s experiences of being in work.

Tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people:

we want to reduce the health and care inequalities that autistic people face throughout their lives, and to show that autistic people are living healthier and longer lives. In addition, we want to have made significant progress on improving early identification, reducing diagnosis waiting times and improving diagnostic pathways for children and adults, so autistic people can access a timely diagnosis and the support they may need across their lives.

Building the right support in the community and supporting people in inpatient care:

we will achieve the targets set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to reduce the number of autistic people and people with a learning disability being admitted into inpatient mental health services. We will do so by improving the treatment of autistic people in mental health legislation to prevent people from being avoidably admitted to inpatient care and improving the provision of community mental health and crisis support. We will also improve the suitability and availability of housing support and social care. In addition, for people who do need to be in inpatient mental health settings, the quality of care will be better and more tailored to their individual needs and people will be discharged back into their communities as soon as they are well enough to leave.

Improving support within the criminal and youth justice systems:

we will build a clearer understanding of how autistic people come into contact with the criminal and youth justice systems, and the type of support they may need across court, prison and under probation supervision. We will improve the police and wider criminal and youth justice system staff’s understanding of autism so that autistic people are more able to receive the right support, adjusted to their needs, as well as ensuring that different parts of the justice system – from prisons to courts – become more autism-inclusive.

The entire strategy, as well as and easy read format and annex, can be found on the following links

The national strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026 (

The national strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026 (Easy Read) (

Autism strategy implementation plan: 2021 to 2022 (Annex A) – GOV.UK (