A specialist team at Newcastle College has won a prestigious award at The National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Autism Professionals Awards.
Newcastle College’s Autism Support Team received the accolade for Inspirational Education Provision in recognition of its outstanding work supporting over 200 local children with autism. It was presented to them by bestselling author Kathy Lette and comedian John Williams at a special ceremony in Harrogate.
The team was formed in 2008 to support students with autism, a lifelong disability which affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people. It provides information, support and guidance to students who struggle in an educational setting, helping them to reach their full potential.
The team has supported more people every year since it was established and is hoping to expand further following their success.
Jacquie Brown, Director of Learner Services at Newcastle College, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. The Autism Support Team provides an invaluable support network for our learners and the way in which the provision has grown year on year is testament to its success.
“I am extremely proud of the team and would like to congratulate them on the fantastic achievement.”
Carol Povey, Director of the NAS’ Centre for Autism, said: '”Newcastle College’s Autism Support Team should be commended for standing out from a truly exceptional shortlist.
'”The finalists highlight some of the groundbreaking work going on across the UK to improve the lives of people affected by autism. It is important that we share their achievements so that other individuals and organisations can follow in their footsteps and ensure we live in a world where people with autism can reach their full potential.
“With the right support people with autism can live the life they choose.”
Newcastle College’s Autism Support Team was up against two other finalists in the Inspirational Education Provision category: ESPA College’s Training and Awareness Group and Phoenix Purple Teaching & Support Team at City College Norwich
The awards were judged by a panel of leading experts in the field of autism from a variety of professional backgrounds across the UK.
The full list of winners:
• Award for Inspirational Education Provision: Newcastle College's Autism Support Team
• Award for Outstanding Adult Service: NAS Autism and Ageing Project
• Award for Clinical Excellence, sponsored by NUA Healthcare: Midlands Psychology
• Award for Innovative Family Support: Midlands Psychology
• Best New Technological Innovation, sponsored by Network Autism: Kingwood, with the Helen Hamlyn Centre
• Award for Most Creative Community Project: Scottish Autism, 'The Tree and the Abbey' production
• The Axcis Award for Achievement by an Individual Education Professional: Bozena Marczyk
• Lifetime Achievement Award: Rita Jordan
• Autism Accreditation Excellence Award: Lincolnshire Pathfinder Social Communication Team