Polegate MP Joins Autism Group

Friday 15th July 2016

eastbourne buzz news - Maria Caulfield Autism

Polegate MP Maria Caulfield, has welcomed the opportunity to serve as an officer on the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Autism.

The APPG which is cross-party and extends across both Houses is dedicated to improving the lives of those affected either directly or indirectly by autism.

Opening yesterday’s (14 July) meeting, Chair Cheryl Gillam paid tribute to Jo Cox MP, and the huge contribution that she had given during her time as a member of the group.

Members of the APPG then moved to set out the priorities for the year ahead, with the aim of using the parliamentary cycle to implement priorities for the forthcoming year, which will cover the following areas: 

  • Schools – training and support
  • Employment
  • Community care
  • Autism act – review its progress
  • Criminal justice
  • Concurrent health care needs

 Following the meeting, Maria said, “I recently had the great pleasure of meeting with a group of parents in Lewes, who informed me of the daily struggles that they are experiencing in several areas. Two specifics given were getting a diagnosis for their children, and the lack of educational specialist provision available for those affected by Autism in East Sussex.

“I am therefore very much looking forward to working with other Members of the APPG in order to bring about changes that can genuinely improve the lives of those struggling with the effects of autism.

“As such, I will lead on educational aspects of this work with neighbouring MP Huw Merriman, whilst also contributing to the Prisons Bill, the work on which will benefit Lewes Prison which sits within my constituency.” 

Mark Jones, Trustee & CEO at Families for Autism added to Maria’s comments by saying, “Firstly I would just like to offer my sincere congratulations to Maria for her appointment to the All –Party Parliamentary Group on Autism as a serving officer. Now that Maria has joined the group this opens up a great opportunity for families in Lewes and East Sussex to take part in helping to make a real difference about Autism at a national level.” 

“I am extremely proud that our charity will be partnered with Maria within an advisory capacity and working together, we can help to raise awareness of the condition through Families for Autism’s own member’s life experiences. We hope that our work will add strength to raising parliamentary awareness and look to support changes that will improve the lives of individuals on the Autistic spectrum.”   


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