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In 1968, with the support of renowned psychologist Elizabeth Newson, a remarkable group of parents started the charity which would become Autism East Midlands. They opened Sutherland House School to provide the education that no one else could offer support to children on autism spectrum.

In the 50 years since we have grown to be the largest specialist autism charity in the East Midlands, providing services for both adults and children, and improving the quality of life for thousands of families.

To this day, everything we do is based on a deep and specific understanding of autism and we are still led by people with personal experience of the condition. Every year we provide tens of thousands of hours of highly-specialised support to families affected by autism.

Our individually-tailored support, education and training enable people with autism to live independent, fulfilling lives.

Autism is still very much a hidden disability, despite affecting around 700,000 people in the UK, and we need your help to continue raising awareness of this lifelong condition.

Autistic people are amongst the most disadvantaged in society, with only 16% of people in full-time work and around 70% living with the effects of at least one mental health condition. You can help us change this by providing the right support at the right time.

Jane Howson, CEO of Autism East Midlands

This is an exciting year for Autism East Midlands as we are celebrating 50 years in supporting people on the Autism Spectrum. We are celebrating in many ways this year, trying to encourage everyone who has an association with the organisation, from our students and service users, staff, supporters and local businesses to be involved

Programme of Events for 2018

Autism East Midlands are proudly celebrating the 50th Anniversary of our charity with programme of events and campaigns throughout 2018. Highlights include those listed below, further details will be provided on our website and across our social media channels.

  • Autism East Midlands Retro Run – a fundraising retro-inspired 5K run for the whole family to get involved in at Kelham Hall, Newark on Sunday 4 March 2018
  • Autism East Midlands Sports Day Challenge will see staff, service users and supporters take part in array of fun and sporty challenges  in May 2018. NB. This event will be not be for the general public.
  • Spectrum will be an all inclusive festival which will aim to inform and educate the public about autism, all whilst retaining the fun and atmosphere that a festival brings. This will take olace on 23rd September 10-6 at Lea Green Development Centre.
  • Autism East Midlands Art Exhibition during October / November 2018 will showcase an array art & creativity by our students & service users, inspired by our 50th anniversary year and what autism means to them
  • 50th Anniversary Ball to honour our work for the last 50 years – a charity fundraising ball will be held in Nottinghamshire during October 2018
  • A Christmas Fayre will be held in Nottingham City Centre during December 2018 with staff, students and service users hosting a seasonal market place, with additional fun activities , fair ground inspired rides
  • Autism East Midlands Celebratory Baton Relay – a handmade baton has been created by the students and Art & Design department at Sutherland House School in Nottingham. The baton will be passed from service to service over the course of 2018 kick-started in Northampton in January 2018 to celebrate the launch of a charity merger with Autism Concern Northampton. The baton will then take a journey across the county visiting our services and events and will finish back at Sutherland House School, Nottingham, to mark the opening of the Christmas Fayre.

Autism East Midlands Charity Time Line

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.

1970: We opened the first site of Sutherland House School in Carlton, Nottingham. Since then, the school expanded to offer 94 places across 5 sites in and around Nottingham. The five sites remained Harby Lodge, Ravenshead, Sutherland House, Carlton & CEC.

1970’s: Elizabeth Newson Centre. Elizabeth was a development psychologist, who was instrumental in forming the Sutherland House School she remained involved with the organisation as an adviser until 2003 and was a strong supporter until her death in February 2014.The transformation of her university based clinic into a diagnostic service, which was named in her honour, is her legacy to autistic children today.

1987: We began offering services to adults with the opening of Whitegates residential care home in Worksop. Since then our services for adults expanded to offer residential, supported living, day services and outreach services from almost 20 sites across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

2011: NORSACA opened the Work and Learn Centre in Worksop (now known as the Dukeries Autism Centre) our first day service in Worksop in September of that year. Following on from that we have developed a further four: Mundy Street in Heanor, Tall Trees in Retford, Enterprise Centre, Worksop and Sherwood Centre in Mansfield Woodhouse

2013: We started the process to rebrand as Autism East Midlands a name which has brought all the services together and describes exactly what we are about and where we deliver.

2014: All our central and corporate functions re-located into one Head Office in Creswell, Derbyshire.

2016: January saw the coming together of all five school sites into refurbished educational premises, in Bath Street Nottingham. Sutherland House School for the first time since 1968 had all classes under one roof, with updated facilities such as an assembly hall, gym, dining rooms, technology room and 2 sensory rooms. Nearer to all city facilities the opportunities for the students were enhanced.

2017: April saw the expansion of our services with the opening of Children’s Flexible Short Breaks service in Gainsborough, and the commissioning of our Employment Services for people on the autism spectrum throughout the East Midlands.

2018: In January we merged with Autism Concern in Northampton, expanding our offering the range of Children’s Flexible Short Break services to a wider area. In addition, the opening of Rotherham Autism Hub, working with individuals to develop a bespoke programme of activities tailored to the individual’s needs and aspirations, enabling people on the autism spectrum to access many opportunities looking at employment, training and independence.