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Service Co-ordinator, Shropshire

My name is Wendy and I am the Shropshire Service Co-ordinator. I work in Shrewsbury and work alongside families, children and young people in Shropshire to help them understand more about autism and how it affects them and their family. My main responsibilities include helping to prepare training and deliver training for professionals and parents; run advice sessions which may necessitate making visual resources and run coffee mornings I organise trips for siblings that have a brother or sister on the spectrum and run workshops for siblings. I also run (with a colleague) the Teens Summer Programme, which consists of workshops around autism e.g. autism, and me self esteem, anxiety and anger as well as fun activities tie dying, bowling, cardboard sledging down hills and making pizza.

One of the best things about working for Autism West Midlands is that it is a caring and compassionate organisation. We listen to each other, support each other, help each other and learn from each other.

I support autistic people by empowering parents, helping them develop a better understanding of autism and the strategies that they and their children can use, that may help them live the lives they want to live. I chose to work at Autism West Midlands to make a positive difference to the lives of people on the spectrum and their families.

A typical office day is: Switch my computer on. Make a drink for myself and anybody else in the office. Have a chat (something I had to learn to do when I started as I am autistic). Check and respond to any emails. Do some advice sessions and discuss any that were difficult. Have lunch and then go to the shop or out for a short walk with a colleague/s. Research and prepare resources that I said I would do in the advice sessions and put them in the post. Some days I may need to research and refresh or write some training materials. I may also photocopy handouts if we are running training sessions in the week. Other days I will be out somewhere in Shropshire running coffee mornings, training sessions or activities.

I have been able to develop my career whilst working at Autism West Midlands and gained lots of training around safeguarding, first aid, child protection, food hygiene and autism.

The team members at Autism West Midlands are approachable and supportive. We share our resources and ideas with our colleagues in Shropshire and Birmingham. The environment is supportive and friendly.