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A branch of the National Autistic Society

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NAS Avon Branch

A branch of the National Autistic Society

Useful Contacts

Autism Helpline:

tel: 0808 800 4104 (mon-fri, 10 am-4 pm) or complete online form which can be found:


The NAS Autism Helpline provides impartial, confidential information and advice for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families and carers. Calls to these numbers are free from landlines and most mobiles.


The service includes advice on:


Parent-to-Parent Service: 0808 800 4106


Education Rights Service: 0808 800 4102   email:


Community Care Service: 0808 800 4104    email:


The Community Care Service offers advice and information about community care issues, including finding out what help you can get from your local social services department; how to access the help; and how to make a complaint to your social services department if you are not happy with their decisions or the services they offer. Some of the help that people affected by autism may be entitled to includes Direct Payments, day centres, respite services, or help with housing options.

Options provides support for adults with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries, mental health needs, autistic spectrum disorders, and physical and sensory impairments. We are based in Bristol and cover all of Bristol, as well as South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset. We provide supported living, supporting people to live in their own home with all aspects of independent living and also provide community outreach which involves supporting people to access the community and take part in activities of interest to them.


Additionally, as part of Options, is a service called Evolve, which provides group based support for young people with learning disabilities and Autism from the age of 16-25. The programme offers a wide variety of activities and training, with an emphasis on facilitating community inclusion and increasing independence. The programme consists of four key areas – Independent Living Skills, Vocational Training & Community Work Projects, Social Inclusion and Health & Fitness. People can access Evolve alongside college placements, upon completion of education or as a more personalised alternative to traditional mainstream provision, attending on a basis that suits individual needs.


For further information: Telephone: 0117 966 7451 or Email: Check out their website at:


From 1st September 2014 Statements of Education and Learning Difficulty Assessments will gradually become Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). KIDS have been funded by the Department for Education to provide trained Independent Supporters to help families and young people in Bristol. They offer free, independent and impartial information and support to parents and young people who are either starting or transferring to Education, Health and Care Plan.


KIDS Independent Supporters work as a team offering families and young people flexible, person centred support. Their aim is to empower families and young people to have the information, confidence and support to participate fully in the assessment and planning process for an Education, Health and Care Plan.


For further information: Telephone: 0117 947 6111 or Email: Check out their website at:

Autism Spectrum Management Services in BaNES


Details to follow shortly


For information on benefits including DLA, PIP, ESA etc. visit: 


The Care Forum provides an Advocacy Service in South Gloucestershire, please visit: for firther information.


SEAP - Support Empower Advocate Promote - covers Bristol and other areas, please visit: for further information.

Housing Advice Service

Housing and Support Alliance is an independent advice and information service for people with learning disabilities. The aim is to assist people with learning disabilities achieve greater control over aspects of their life and to provide more housing and support choices - more options for individuals, parents, social services, care agencies. It exists to help people obtain the best option for their circumstances and this includes independent supported living and home ownership.  It does this by providing practical help, advice and information. It can be a gateway to accessing different types of social housing.


The Advice Line (Mon-Fri, 10am - 4pm): 0845 456 1497 or email:

please visit: for further information

Carers UK

Carers UK help carers and their families. For more information visit: or call their advice Line: 0808 808 7777

Well Aware, run by the Care Forum, is a directory of organisations and groups offering health and wellbeing services and activities in the local area. Well Aware has information on: Social activities, Support groups, Community groups, Home maintenance, Home adaptations, Assisted living equipment, Transport help, Mobility equipment, Care homes, Personal Care, Respite care, Counselling... and much, much more!


Well Aware is also the information and signposting service for Healthwatch and therefore investigates complaint made about an organisation or service. If you know of an organisation, community group or service that is not on Well Aware, let them know. You can visit their webpage: or, if you do not have access to a computer, you can call them on their Freephone number: 0808 808 5252 and they’ll do the searching for you.


For further information: email: or check out their Facebook page or Twitter: @WellAware_TCF

Bristol Autism Spectrum Service (BASS) provide a service to adults with autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) and professionals and carers who support them. Including: advice sessions, support groups, a wealth of information on their website, provide assessments and support partners amd carers.


For further information: Tel: 01275 796200 or Email: or Website:

Local Council

Each has an Autism Group and are developing an Autism page on their websites to give details of what they are doing for Autism and other useful information. These pages can be found on the following links:




South Gloucestershire:

NAS Transition Support


The transition support service is a free, confidential and nationwide service providing telephone and email support for autistic young people, their parents and carers. The service provides information and advice on the transition from education to adulthood. This includes transition planning, help exploring future options, accessing community care support, applying for benefits and challenging decisions.


You can contact them by calling 0808 800 0027 or email:

NAS SOUTH WEST SERVICES facebook page - this has been set up to promote and share the great work going on in the area: Or in Facebook, search for NAS SOUTH WEST SERVICES

NAS Student Support Services - South West England


The NAS Student Support Service can provide a range of support options in further and higher education for students who have autism or Asperger syndrome.  For higher education, the service can be funded through Disabled Students Allowances (DSA), although other funding streams may be available. Students are assessed for the level of funding required and at the assessment the student can request a preference for the NAS to provide the support. The roles currently offered are:


Specialist Mentor to assist with overcoming barriers to learning and develop strategies in: time management and planning; prioritising and structuring workload; organisation; managing change, development of communication, social and interaction skills; managing anxiety and sensory needs; understanding expectations of the course

Speciality Facilitator  provides specialist enabling support and reassurance in lectures, seminars, lab sessions, group work, out of class times, around campus, in exams, on trips, or for ‘Welcome Week’ as required. They facilitate the student’s access to learning by clarifying the language of the HE environment, building independence, encouraging motivation and attendance.


For further details: email or call 0117 974 8413.

Autism Services Directory


The Autism Servies Directory is the UK's most comprehensive directory of services and support for people with an autism spectrum condition, their families, and people who work with them.  

Please note that the NAS does not inspect the services listed.

Welfare Rights Service:  0808 800 4104


The Welfare Rights Service offers advice and information on all aspects of social security benefit entitlement. This includes advice on which benefits you may be entitled to, general advice on completing claim forms, what to do if you think a decision is wrong and how to appeal to a tribunal.


General information about benefits can be found at

Sportarray is a North Somerset Council initiative aiming to increase the number of people with a disability or long-term health condition regularly playing sport. We support clubs, coaches and volunteers to gain knowledge and skills to provide inclusive sport sessions as part of their club activities.


The Sportarray project is part of a four UA West of England inclusive sport website called Sports Rush, which includes a handy ‘Club Finder’.  You can put in your post code and find a local opportunity.  It also covers lots more sports that may be available over the border in a neighbouring local authority. Please take a look at


For Further information: Contact the Sport and Active Lifestyles Team on 01275 882 734 or, or take a look at: Sportarray information on North Somerset website