Who are we?
The Charity was set up because it was recognised that there was little support for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) making the transition into the employment market and a lack of understanding and education for employers.
The Supported Employment Project was established in April 2003 and was the first project of its kind to work solely in a busy shopping centre. The majority of books on Autism state people living with ASD would find it too difficult to hold down employment in an environment that’s too noisy, too busy, too many different shapes and colours to over stimulate their brains.
But at Meadowhall, Sheffield City Centre and beyond our clients are proving that with specialised support and a supportive and forward thinking employer, it can and it does work.
In 2006 we received funding for 3 years from the Big Lottery Fund and this enabled us to employ a second full time member of staff. This in turn enabled the project to extend into Sheffield City Centre.
In April 2009 the Project received the majority of its funding from ‘Sheffield Council’ who drew up a contract. This allowed the project to continue and to also take on a part time Job Coach. We continue to work to a very client centred approach, ideal job matching and supporting clients from across South Yorkshire and continuing to provide the standard of support that we believe has enabled our clients to achieve, grow in confidence and become independent.
In April 2010 our contract with Sheffield Council was renewed and as we came into our 7th year it was felt that the success of the ‘Project’ needed to have a more permanent name, therefore in May 2010 we became the ‘Autism Centre for Supported Employment’. Funding for a 2nd Specialist Job Coach was also received enabling us to support more adults into paid employment. The Centre continues to grow from strength to strength and this is down to having supportive employers and our amazing clients, who we continue to be extremely proud of.