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On 20th October Autism East Midlands will be celebrating 50 years of supporting individuals and families affected by autism, by holding a ball at the Alea venue in Nottingham. The evening will be packed full of celebration as the largest autism specific charity in the East Midlands turns 50, but how did it all start for Autism East Midlands?

In 1968, The Nottingham Regional Society of Autism for Children and Adults was formed by a group of parents in Nottingham who were concerned that their children were not getting a suitable education. Two years later the charity opened the first site of Sutherland House School in Carlton, Nottingham. In the years following this, the school expanded to offer ninety-four places across five sites in and around Nottingham before, in 2016, these five sites came together to be housed in a single refurbished educational premises in Bath Street, Nottingham. For the first time since 1968 Sutherland House School had all classes under one roof.

Since the charity’s beginnings, where it focused on supporting children, Autism East Midlands has expanded to offer support to families and adults. In 1987 the charity began offering services to adults, with the opening of Whitegates residential care home in Worksop. Since 1987, Autism East Midlands’ services for adults expanded to offer residential, supported living, day services and outreach services from almost 20 sites across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Autism East Midlands continues to expand even in its 50th year as January of 2018 saw the charity merge with Northampton based charity Autism Concern. This merger meant that Autism East Midlands was able to expand their offering of Children’s Flexible Short Break services to a wider area, giving the charity a presence in the very south of the region.

There is still an opportunity for you to join the celebrations at Autism East Midlands’ 50th Anniversary Ball. If you would like to purchase tickets for the ball then please either email fundraising@autismeastmidlands.org.uk or call 01909776937 and a member of the team will assist you with your ticket purchase.