Herefordshire Autism Partnership

Herefordshire Autism Partnership brings together people from public services, support organisations, those on the autistic spectrum and their family carers. It aims to promote better understanding of the spectrum in order to improve services for people, families and carers living with autism. It offers opportunities for you to get involved in developing those services and future strategy.

See our latest events to find out how you can join in and let us know your views.

Image of children running holding balloons, with text Let's talk about autism!

We recently consulted on a new All-Age Autism Strategy - please read about it below.

All-Age Autism Strategy

Herefordshire and Worcestershire's Autism Partnership Boards are working with autistic people, carers, professionals from social care, health, public health, police, support providers and advocacy services to co-produce a new All-Age Autism Strategy for the two counties.

The priorities in our strategy will reflect the six priorities within the National Autism Strategy 2021-2026 with an additional local priority around keeping safe:

  1. Improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society.
  2. Improving autistic children and young people's access into education and support positive transitions into adulthood.
  3. Supporting more autistic people into employment.
  4. Tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people
  5. Building the right support in the community.
  6. Improving support in criminal and youth justice systems
  7. Keeping safe

We were keen to get everyone's input into the new strategy and we carried out a survey to get views of autistic people, their families, and wider Herefordshire and Worcestershire residents. The results of the survey will help inform the new strategy and annual action plans.

The survey closed on 14 May 2023.

If you have any queries about the survey please email

Herefordshire Autism Strategy 2019-2022

Our Autism Strategy 2019-2022 sets out the long term plans of Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and partners both with and on behalf of people with autism and their family carers. The Herefordshire Autism Strategy is an all-age strategy and is relevant to children and young people as well as adults with autism and their families. The Autism Partnership Board played a key role in developing and co-producing this strategy.

Herefordshire's Autism Strategy 2019-2022

Herefordshire Autism Partnership Board

If you are interested in attending any of our meetings, or would like to find out more about our work, please email Paul Choppen, Partnership Board Assistant, Herefordshire Council at

Dates of Herefordshire Autism Partnership meetings 2023

  • 12 September from 3pm -5.30pm in the Plough Lane Offices and via Microsoft Teams

Autistic Adult Diagnostic Pathway

Herefordshire now has its own Autistic Adult Diagnostic Pathway for people seeking an autism diagnosis. The pathway is run by the Family Psychologists and commissioned by the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

You can get a referral to the service through your local GP or through the Mental Health Team if you are already being seen by them. View the Autistic Adult Diagnostic Pathway press release for more details.

Post-diagnosis support services for people with an autism diagnosis in Herefordshire

Brightfire CIC

Brightfire CIC has partnered with Autism West Midlands to provide one-to-one support sessions for autistic people aged 16+ in Herefordshire. As this is an NHS funded service you do not have to pay for these sessions.

If you have an autism diagnosis and live in the county, you can access up to four, one-hour sessions either online or in person. These sessions can be used to talk about issues which are affecting you, and to focus on any challenges you may be experiencing. They can work with you to help you think about how being autistic affects you and develop positive strategies to support your mental health and wellbeing.

They can also signpost or refer you to other services in the community such as advocacy, financial or health and wellbeing support.

From September 2023 the partnership between Autism West Midlands and Brightfire CIC will be dissolved and both organisations will no longer be working together in partnership. This will not effect the support autistic adults in Herefordshire receive from the Community Autism Support Service as any 1:1 support will continue to be delivered by autism advisors working for Autism West Midlands along side the Autism Confident programmes and development of workshops and social groups.

Autism West Midlands

In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Autism West Midlands offer:

  • Information, advice and support to autistic adults and/or parent carers of adults by phone, email or online meetings
  • Structured support sessions for autistic adults who have been diagnosed in recent years. These are offered online or face to face in community venues (there may be a wait for face to face appointments)
  • Autism confident programmes for autistic teenagers and adults

In 2023, Autism West Midlands will be developing support groups for autistic adults online or face to face in community venues.

Free autism and anxiety training for parent carers of children who have been accepted for assessment on the ASD diagnosis pathway or who have received a diagnosis of autism. The training programme is delivered by webinar. Check out their events pages for details.

During 2022-23, Autism West Midlands are delivering a pilot programme of post diagnosis support to 14-18 year olds who have recently been diagnosed. Contact Autism West Midlands for more details.

Carers strategy survey

There is a new survey as part of the engagement work going on as part of the development of new all age Carer’s Strategy for Herefordshire. The short survey is to be completed NOT by carers, but rather by organisations and groups that may come into contact with carers – even if the organisation is not set up to support unpaid carers directly.

There will be engagement workshops with carers taking place in October and November.

The survey is quite short and should not take longer than 10 minutes to complete

The survey can be found here, and is open until 1 September.


Over the last few months, we have been gaining views from autistic people, their families, provider organisations, professionals and wider Herefordshire and Worcestershire residents about their health needs and experience of accessing health services through an online survey. We would now like to explore the findings from the survey in more detail through specific focus groups. The results from this engagement will help inform the health section of the new All-Age Autism Strategy and action plans for the two counties.

Upcoming focus groups

If you have ideas about how things could be improved to support autistic people to access health services and get the support they need, we would like to invite you to sign-up to join one of our online focus group sessions.

Priority 5: Building the right support in the community

Priority 5 aims to help autistic people to access and be supported in their communities. It also includes when an autistic person returns to their home after treatment for all types of hospital admission.

The aim of the session is to share the findings from the engagement and collectively agree the short and long term actions to take forward for this priority in relation to:

  • Access to information and support in the local community
  • Access the right assessments and support from social care for autistic people and their carers
  • Appropriate housing and housing advice
  • Avoiding admission to in-patient mental health hospitals where appropriate, good quality support in in-patient mental health hospitals, timely discharge and appropriate community support for those who need it

Date and time: Thursday 7 September 2023, 9.30am - 1.15pm

You are welcome to join all of the session or if you have a particular interest in a specific area above, you can just join part of the session at the specific time that it is scheduled on the agenda. Please email for an invite and more information.

Autism and health services focus group sessions

Focus groups will be held online using Microsoft Teams the details of which are below:

  • Focus Group 4: for Carers of children and young people (aged 17 and under) who are Autistic Monday 11 September 10am - 11.30am
    This session is for family/parents/carers of children and young people who are autistic (with or without a formal diagnosis) living in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
  • Focus Group 5: for Carers of children and young people (aged 17 and under) who are Autistic Monday 11 September 5.30pm - 7pm
    This session is for family/parents/carers of children and young people who are autistic (with or without a formal diagnosis) living in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Location: Online via Microsoft Teams

Purpose of sessions: The sessions will provide an opportunity to give more in-depth feedback on autistic people’s health needs which will inform Priority 4 of the Autism Strategy – ‘Tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people’.

How to book

Follow the Eventbrite link below to sign-up to the focus group sessions which best reflects the perspective your feedback comes from. We will send you a confirmation email and nearer the time of the focus group we will send reminders and a link to join the session.

Sign-up to your chosen focus group with Eventbrite

Priority 2: Improving autistic children and young people's access into education

Theses online co-production workshops are an invitation to open co-production events (online) in order to get a wide range of perspectives from those with autism, alongside the feedback from parents, carers and providers. Co-production is important to us in ensuring services are shaped and informed by those who receive and deliver services.

At the session we will be sharing the results of a survey that asked for experience and feedback about education and transition planning as well as an update on new specialist education bases opening in September. We will then be asking attendees to join smaller groups and coproduce priority statements for what we need to focus on in the next few years. These will be taken forward as recommendations to the strategy project group to inform and shape the final strategy.

Both online sessions are on Thursday 14 September.

The first session is from 11.30am - 1pm. Book 11.30am - 1pm session on Eventbrite.

The second session is from 6pm - 7.30pm. Book 6pm - 7.30pm session on Eventbrite.