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West Cheshire Autism Hub gets a makeover

West Cheshire Autism Hub

West Cheshire Autism Hub’s base at The Bluecoat in Chester is currently having a makeover in readiness to welcome autistic adults and their families.

New spaces are being designed, together with people who access the services and their families, to create a welcoming environment for when the hub opens in line with the latest NHS and Government guidance.

Adults with autism and their families are at the heart of everything the Autism Hub does, including helping choose the layout and furniture used at The Bluecoat.

One room has now been completed, with work continuing on the others. Services will continue to be delivered virtually wherever possible until the hub officially opens.

Cheshire West and Chester Council, Council company Vivo Care Choices, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are all involved in the project.

Gus Cairns, an adult with autism who has been heavily involved with the project since the very start, was recently elected Chair of the West Cheshire Autism Hub Board.

He said: “I’d like to thank members of the Board for making me Chair at our first official Board meeting in August. I accepted the position with gratitude.

“I promise to do my best to make the Autism Hub as successful as I can with everyone’s help and support.

“Our base at The Bluecoat looks fantastic and I can’t wait to welcome other autistic adults and their families.”

Councillor Val Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, added: “The West Cheshire Autism Hub provides easy access to many valuable services for people across the borough.

“Despite the challenges COVID-19 has brought, it’s really encouraging to see so much progress being made with the Autism Hub.”

Clair Haydon, Consultant Occupational Therapist and Lead for the Adult Autism Team at CWP, added: “Our staff have been providing advice sessions online and we’ve had some really positive feedback so far.

“We’re delighted to be involved with the Autism Hub as it’s going to make a real difference to people in west Cheshire.

“We already offer diagnostic assessments at hubs in Macclesfield and Wirral and will soon be doing the same at the West Cheshire Autism Hub.”

Tracey Cole, Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships for NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Autism Hub taking shape.

“Establishing the Autism Hub amid the ongoing COVID-19 response is testament to the power of working in partnership to support local people.”