The ACC has been established by Autistic people for Autistic people.
It is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to build a sense of community among the Autistic population of Cornwall, including linking people together to provide kinship, mutual support, and practical advice.
Our members are also involved in delivering training, advocacy and consultation with various services and decision makers.
We have developed a mentorship and befriending scheme to arrange peer support for individuals who would like to talk directly to another Autistic person. This is often valued by people who are newly diagnosed or have recently decided to self-identify as Autistic.
Future plans include mobile and permanent Autistic coffee shops where individuals from all walks of life can meet up with their neurokin in a relaxed and supportive environment. Feedback from Autistic people highlights that this kind of support is very much needed to develop coping strategies for living in a non-Autistic world. We have found that spending time with, and learning from, other Autistic people is more beneficial to mental health and wellbeing than traditional therapies and medication.
Who are we?
All of our ACC directors are Autistic and professionally involved in a number of Autism related services and initiatives.
Ian Hutchinson ACC Director and CEO
Ian has worked within the NHS for many years as a Specialist Clinician and currently functions as a diagnostician within the Cornwall NHS adult Autism assessment service. He is also is a clinical advisor to Youth Art Connect, a mental health initiative. Ian is the ACC’s mentorship and support coordinator and has a particular interest in the nature and quality of support available to people following confirmation of their Autistic identity.
Marie Ralph ACC Director
Marie has been active for many years in the Neurodivergent community providing support, advice and advocacy to young people, adults and families. Her primary focus has been on holding local services to account and promoting non discriminatory practice on the part of organisations, services and local communities. She is the chair of Tourette's Action Cornwall and a founding member and Director of Youth Art Connect. She has a particular interest in how the educational needs of young Autistic people are met and provides bespoke Autism training as an independent Autistic expert by experience.
Tigger Pritchard ACC Director
Tigger is well known within the Autism networks of Cornwall, across the UK and Internationaly. For many years Tigger has been working within the Autistic community to promote better acceptance and understanding of Autism .Tigger is involved with several innovative organisations that are aligned with the neurodiversity movement that advocates for understanding based upon difference and not dysfunction. Through his own independent consultancy, he provides Autism related training as well as commissioned work with individuals and families. Tigger has developed an excellent free website with links to information and other useful resources around Autism and Neurodiversity in general.
If you are interested in any of the following:
Being linked to a mentor or advocate
Signposting to members who can provide training designed and delivered by Autistic people
Signposting to members who can provide advice for strategic planning and service development
please contact us!