Twycross Zoo Trip – Fully Booked

Our Twycross Zoo trip is now fully booked but we still have spaces on the wonderful Pumpkin Hunt at Castle Ashby Gardens. The Pumpkin Hunt has grown in popularity over the past few years and is one of the must visit Halloween days out for families in Northamptonshire. Lots of fun to be had and really interactive!

If you would like to book your child a space please email [email protected] or cal 01604 239404 today!

24th October – Pumpkin Hunt

Age group: 6-12 years
Venue: Castle Ashby Gardens
Address: Castle Ashby, Northampton, NN7 1LQ
Time: 10am – 2pm
Cost: £10 per child
Activity: Follow the trail around the gardens to find the hidden pumpkins, once found copy the face on the paper provided. Find all the pumpkins to win a prize! Child friendly event. Fancy Dress optional but please do remember weather appropriate clothing

(Please provide your child with a packed lunch and plenty of drinks)

Only 10 places available!!


Posted in Uncategorized

Meet Lesley our new Autism Helpline Advisor!

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce our newest member of the Autism Concern team, Lesley Lock. Lesley has joined us within our family support team and we are delighted to have her on board! Over to you Lesley…

Hi, I’m Lesley, Autism Concern’s new Autism Helpline Advisor. I’m a mum of two girls of secondary school age, and we live East Northamptonshire (I’ve been trying to move my Hertfordshire-born husband back to Scotland, where I’m from, for the past 20 years – he’s now noticed the gradual move North and we have settled in Northants!) .

I’ve been self-employed for a national parenting charity for the last 12 years, supporting parents who are struggling with life with babies and small children, and I’m looking forward to bringing these skills into my new full time role with Autism Concern.

I’m also passionate about volunteering, and the skills and energy that volunteers can bring to an organisation. My main volunteering role at present is as a school governor for a Junior school, with a special interest in Pupil Premium children – Pupil Premium is a sum of money given to schools each year to provide facilities and opportunities to support pupils for whom there may be barriers to learning.

When I’m not working, or acting as a mum taxi to various sports clubs and music gigs, I spend much of my time knitting or crocheting (often in the car, waiting for my girls, or while watching them play sport, much to their embarrassment), or looking at websites for new wool to add to my stash!

Welcome to the team! Lesley and the rest of the team who form the Information, Advice and Guidance Service are available to speak to on the support line (0808 808 9090) and by email on [email protected]

Remember, it is not necessary to have a diagnosis to access our services, which include:

  • Emotional support
  • Behavioural advice
  • Signposting to community services
  • Training and awareness
  • Understanding autism spectrum conditions
  • Support with filling in benefits forms and applications
Posted in Uncategorized

October Half Term

Posted in Uncategorized

September – December Youth Group Dates

We are delighted to confirm our September to December Youth Group dates. Parents who are on our mailing list will receive emails in the next week or so with allocation dates for these sessions along with dates for Saturdays, Bespoke and Activity Days. As always if there is anything you need help with please contact the office on 01604 239404.

Youth Groups

13-18 Years Youth Group dates: September – December 

Towcester – Greens Norton Community Centre, Towcester Road, Greens Norton, NN12 8BL

Wednesday 13th September

Wednesday 11th October

Wednesday 15th November

Wednesday 6th December

Wednesday 13th December

Corby – The Stephenson Way Community Centre, 18-28 Stephenson Way, Corby, NN17 1DA

Thursday 19th October

Thursday  23rd November

Thursday 14th December

Northampton – The Abbey Centre, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ

Tuesday 19th September

Tuesday 3rd October

Tuesday 17th October

Tuesday 7th November

Tuesday 21st November

Tuesday 5th December

Junior 8-12 Years Youth Group dates: September – December 

Towcester – Greens Norton Community Centre, Towcester Road, Greens Norton, NN12 8BL

Launch date – 22nd November

Corby – The Stephenson Way Community Centre, 18-28 Stephenson Way, Corby, NN17 1DA

Thursday 12th October

Thursday 16th November

Thursday 7th December


Dates TBC – Coming Soon

Posted in Uncategorized

Autism Concern Jubilee Tea Party

Last week we hosted our very own Afternoon Tea for AC in the form of our jubilee tea party. The event was an opportunity to thank our fundraisers, hear about how our work impacts our community and learn about future aspirations.

The day was wonderful with treats donated from local businesses and a centrepiece cake crafted by Gardners Bakery in Kingsthorpe. We would also like to take the time to thank all who have supported Autism Concern over the last 25 years and we hope you will continue to be a part of our journey in the future.

Here are some photos from the event, we wonder if you can spot any familiar faces!
Jubilee cupcakes

Jubilee Cake

Jubilee Cake from Gardners Bakery

AC Team tea party
cake cutting
colouring sheets jubilee

Maddie and Ted card tricks
maddie card tricks
Stagecoach cheque presentation
stand with little helper
tea party 2
tea party 3
Tea party cakes
tea party networking
tea party outside
Tea party
Ted colouring in
Wendy and Zoe Tea Party


Posted in Uncategorized

The jubilee raffle winners are….

Our winning jubilee raffle ticket numbers are as follows:

1st 01648
2nd 02512
3rd 00395
4th 05649
5th 05631
6th 01732
7th 02632
8th 01733
9th 01667
10th 04684
11th 00165
12th 00440
13th 02145
14th 02036
15th 00772
16th 01920
17th 00287
18th 02391

All winners have been notified. A massive thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket for your donations to Autism Concern!

Posted in Uncategorized

Puberty, Adolescence and the ASD Factor

Puberty, Adolescence and the ASD Factor

Puberty, Adolescence and the ASD Factor is a training workshop in collaboration with Target Autism. Running on 13th September 2017 at the Nene Whitewater Centre in Northampton.

Local trainers and Autism Consultants, Ron Fortuna and Angela Capper from Target Autism will deliver this training workshop aimed to develop both knowledge and a practical understanding of how to support young people through issues arising during puberty and adolescence. Both Angela and Ron have a wealth of experience working with young people accross the autism spectrum and supporting parents, carers and professionals with the physical, emotional and social issues that young people can experience.

This training event is suitable for all parents, carers and professionals living and working with young people and teenagers on the Autism Spectrum. for more information about the session’s content, contact Angela on 07549 639929 or [email protected]

Book your place today

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

My Autism – A Poem by Tasha Krywald aged 17

My Autism – A Poem by Tasha Krywald aged 17

There is more to some people,

Than meets the eye,

My tantrums no tantrum,

My shy isn’t shy,

My panic isn’t exaggerated,

But instead it’s my mind,

That tells me these experiences,

Are not what I should find.

I sometimes get nervous,

Sometimes I will run,

I might laugh at the wrong moment,

Or have too much fun.

I can struggle with talking,

And society alike,

It took me quite long,

To learn how to ride a bike.

In fact everything I do,

Takes a little longer,

But my weaknesses also,

Help to make me stronger.

Sometimes I forget,

Sometimes I get scared,

And I always need

To ensure I’m prepared.

I need a schedule,

I form attachments so fast,

I get confused,

Between present, future and past.

I struggle to explain what I mean,

And always ask ‘why’

I shake, I stutter,

I laugh but I cry.

I have these moments,

Meltdowns they are called,

When I have little control,

It’s like my brain has stalled.

I struggle with trust,

Sensations make me fear,

And when faced with the unknown,

I try to keep clear,

But I am also so smiley,

Friendly and caring,

I like to join in,

And I can be quite daring.

I face my fears,

And my challenges too,

There is very little,

I cannot do.

I try my hardest,

And I usually succeed,

I have so much love,

And I do not have greed.

I try to stay smiling,

A character I can be,

I may be different,

But it doesn’t define me!

There is a special thing,

That makes me this way,

An awesome difference,

That affects me every day.

It is no negative,

Just happens to be,

That autism is

A part of me!! ☺️

By Tasha Krywald

Age 17

image1 (2)

Posted in Uncategorized

Afternoon Tea for AC!

Autism Concern is celebrating its 25th birthday – launching a year of celebrations and fundraising to ensure the charity can continue our vital support for families. We are inviting you all to celebrate with us by hosting a Jubilee Tea Party and to have Afternoon Tea for AC!

Throughout the month of July 2017 we are hoping you will join us by holding your own tea party in aid of Autism Concern. Not only are these tea parties a great way to bring people together but a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorders and raise money to help the thousands of people who form Northamptonshire’s autism community.

By hosting a party you help us to fund, sustain and create new schemes for your local community into our 26th year and beyond.

Below are some ideas for hosting your own party and how to get involved. You will find all the resources you need to put together your own unique party here.AT-Logo-RGB-72dpi-transparent (3)

Posted in Uncategorized

Our Community – Meet Rob Ambidge

As part of our ongoing Jubilee celebrations we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the people we have worked with and helped over the last 25 years at Autism Concern. Our aim is to provide an insight into the lives of those affected by autism spectrum disorders.

We are so proud of the support we are able to provide to these people and their families. These are their stories.

Rob Ambidge

Name: Rob Ambidge
Age: 30

Job title/Education:

Mature Student at University studying BA Photography (former retail employee and residential home cleaner)

Hobbies and interests:

This can sometimes be a difficult question to answer, as I often go through phases of interests. Ranging from a few days, to several years. Currently though, the main recreational joys include extracurricular photography, learning new skills based around photography, listening to music, watching things on Amazon Prime (been working my way through The X-Files from season 1), and since starting at university last year, I have been developing my selflessness into a useful skill with volunteering as a Course Rep and getting further involved in the Students Union.

When were you diagnosed and what led to your diagnosis?

I was only diagnosed at the ripe old age of 25. This was only after a 4 year battle (with both myself and medical professionals) of fighting a worsening of anxiety and depression. It seems to have started to become a problem when I started to realise how hard I was finding it to keep up with making new friends at work after people kept leaving to either go to university, or found themselves new jobs. The realisation of being “left behind” playing on my mind started to eat away at me, and rather than just being occasional bouts of mild depression and infrequent social withdrawal, they both started to become daily barriers. I first got diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder (aka Social Phobia) at 21, which progressed to adding mild depression (and medication) a few months later. After not being happy with the diagnosis (talking to people on web forums and reading more about Social Phobia began uncovering holes in the diagnosis), and an ever increasing lowering of my mood, a brief moment (several weeks) under the supervision of the crisis team and then a couple of years of unsuccessful “therapy”, it was a recommendation to visit a particular GP (one I had yet to try) that finally listened to me properly and suggested the possibility of Aspergers. It was then this GP that got me on track to see a specialist who, after a few months of “testing,” gave me my diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome. It was long winded, and only really down to my own persistence that I got to that stage.

What problems have you faced in the past due to being on the autism spectrum?

Before diagnosis, I never really had any problems. Signs were there, but with the lack of negative behaviour, they were just seen as “quirks”. I was a massive science fan and was always trying to acquire more books and more knowledge as a child. My Christmas lists were organised nicely, with requests of educational gifts, complete with catalog page numbers and prices (just in case Santa had to choose according to budget). My friendship group is most likely one of the greatest reasons why only the positive aspects of Aspergers showed through. They didn’t care if I was “weird”. To them, that’s what made me who they loved to be around. Shortly before diagnosis and onwards, I obviously don’t have that structure of school or my school friends any more, and that’s when the problems came through. Since “forgetting how to ride my bike” (unlike riding a bicycle, it would appear social skills and coping mechanisms can be forgotten), I’ve found it harder and harder to cope in large crowds (shopping on a Saturday is like a nightmare gone worse), my misophonia (hatred of sounds) seems to have gotten worse, I feel completely drained of energy the day after a social occasion (like being hungover, but doesn’t require alcohol), trying to get certain “allowances” at work can be difficult (requesting to be able to focus on one task I’m good at, rather than chopping and changing and doing some jobs that may be highly challenging due to my difficulties (though that could vary day-to-day how difficult something might be)) and due to the way that I almost have to “translate” some things people say, and with how humour is important to my coping, I sometimes get in trouble for inappropriately laughing or making jokes at insensitive times because my brain makes abstract links between what is said (rather than implied) etc. Though, luckily, I can control the outbursts a lot better around people I don’t know, and the people that do know me, know that it’s not intended to be hurtful and is actually there to help me cope and cheer others up, too.

How Autism Concern have helped you or where did you hear of AC?

I am yet to require any help from Autism Concern so far, partly out of coping so well when I’m “on my feet” and partly out of not actually knowing about them until I started Uni and one of the Societies ran a fundraiser for Autism Concern. But I do hope to build a healthy two way relationship with the charity in the years to come now that I have settled in at university.

Moving towards the future what are your goals and aspirations?

Breaking away from my retail origins, I would like to work towards making a name for myself as a photographer. Though, I am still finding my true strengths and weaknesses within the art (and science) of photography, it is definitely an area I would love to see myself in. If I don’t make it as a creative, then I would definitely love to work in a position where I can teach or assist others in reaching their full potential. Especially if they were to come from a discouraging background (mental health, disabilities etc where they think they can’t achieve the same way as statistically average people [my way of saying “normal”]). Who knows? I might even be able to combine the two as a therapeutic practice?! If I get to go to Japan for a paid assignment, I’ll drop everything and ask when I’m leaving!

What made you decide to sign up to the abseil?

I’d like to say that I signed up to abseil for purely selfless reasons, but in reality, I haven’t done it since I was a Cub Scout, many many years ago and really wanted to abseil again! Admittedly, it wasn’t from that height, but why wouldn’t I enjoy it? I will admit though, that the fact it is a fund raising opportunity for a charity that works in a field so close to my heart was a massive boost from “I’d love to do that” but not actually go through with it for anxiety/confidence/belief reasons to “HELL YEAH!! SIGN ME UP!!”. It was also partly my Societies former President and founder, Stephanie Nixon, who introduced me to AC, the fundraiser, and providing me the opportunity to spread my wings (though, I’m hoping I won’t need wings on the day).



Posted in Uncategorized

Links contained in the Autism Concern website will lead to other websites which are not under our control, and we are not responsible for the content of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site.
Links provided on the Autism Concern website are provided to you only as a convenience and the inclusion of any link does not imply reliability and endorsement by us of, and we accept no liability in respect of, the content.