An Eastbourne charity has appointed a new patron.
Families for Autism has a long-standing tradition of awarding the position to the town’s MP, but after seven years, they have decided to step away from politics.
Jo-Ann D’Costa-Manuel is the new patron and Mark Jones, Chair, Trustee and Chief Executive Officer said, “I am absolutely thrilled Jo-Ann has accepted the invitation to join us. She is an amazing ambassador for autism and has successfully launched her own organisation - Autism Parent Empower. I am looking forward to working alongside Jo–Ann to continue to help grow and expand our charity, identify possible ways that both organisations can support each other and partner up for new future projects.”
Jo-Ann D’Costa –Manual Director at Autism Parent Empower said, “I am both privileged and honoured to accept the role as the charity’s patron. Families for Autism work tirelessly to support children, adults and families living with autism and the work they do has made a significant difference to several lives. Mark and his trustees understand on a personal level the complex challenges often faced and they have my full support moving forward. I can’t wait to start meeting all the families and being part of this fantastic charity.”
Mark has also paid tribute to their former Patron, Caroline Ansell, Eastbourne’s previous MP, saying, “Caroline Ansell has been a tremendously huge supporter of Families for Autism and still wishes to help and support our charity. Caroline is going to dedicate some free time to us and I am honoured that she is going to become the charity’s first Volunteer Community Champion.”
Caroline Ansell added, “I wish Jo-Ann all the best in what is a fantastic role that was a privilege for me to undertake in my time as the MP. I would also very much like to thank Mark and his team for all the help, support and hard work they do to help those with autism or those who are affected by it.
“I am absolutely delighted I will continue my involvement with the charity in a volunteer role. Families for Autism is a superb charity, going from strength to strength and I very much hope to do my bit to help it achieve its goals in the years to come.”