On Monday 29 June, at a reception at the Houses of Parliament, Marie Rimmer MP, a member of the All-party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA), pledged to promote more autism awareness in St Helens South and Whiston.
Marie met local families and heard moving testimonies from people living with autism, a lifelong condition which affects over 3,000 people in St Helens South and Whiston.
The event was attended by nearly one hundred MPs and President of the National Autistic Society, Jane Asher, who said:
“Awareness of the word autism has increased dramatically since I first became involved many years ago, but understanding of this complex condition is still desperately low, that’s why I'm very grateful that so many Parliamentarians came to the event.
“Parliamentarians have the power to make a real change in the lives of those with autism by helping us to spread understanding among their local communities. I do hope they will work with us in trying to make the world a more welcoming place for those affected and their families."
Marie Rimmer MP said:
“I was moved by what I heard today from people living with autism. They spoke of how negative public attitudes and misconceptions about autism can harm families and individuals and limit their opportunities.
“More than 1% of the UK population have the condition and many have battled to get their needs identified, diagnosed, understood and then met.
“I plan to actively promote more awareness in St Helens South and Whiston to improve access to public spaces, employment and services. This will enable more people living with autism to play an active role in their community and to achieve their full potential.”