Two trainers from the National Autistic Society (NAS) – Autism Training Consultant, Mandy Rutter, and Learning & Development Manager/Licensed Assessor, Jim Robinson – were on-Island for a three-week period during January and June 2019 to deliver basic Autism Training and the Autism Licenced User Course to employees within St Helena Government (SHG), non-governmental agencies, and members of the public.

This training project was commissioned by SHG to support the development of services on the Island for children and adults on the autism spectrum, and improve professional practice. In order to meet these objectives, the NAS was asked to provide training and consultancy services to the Children & Adult Social Care staff, as well as provide support for specific individuals through specialised assessments.

Community & Residential Disability Manager, Nicolene Adams, explained:

“During the January training sessions a total of 110 individuals accessed the Autism Awareness training sessions. In the month of June, 214 individuals were trained over the three-week period with the twilight training sessions being particularly popular. Participants reported that by the end of the course they felt empowered to support autistic people and their families more effectively.”

All attendees for both the January and June training sessions have received their certificates for attendance to these courses. The certificates were Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified.

Ten participants – Nicole Hercules, Phil Howell, Nicolene Adams, Lolly Young, Adele McMahon, Cheryl Bedwell, Kevin Baggett, Andrew Burt, Lisa Benjamin and Marianne Crowie – have also completed the Autism Licenced User Course and were recently presented with their certificates, during a short ceremony at the St Helena Community College.

Director of Children & Adults Social Care, Tracy Poole-Nandy, added:

“This training has occurred due to the significant investment made by St Helena to improve the understanding and response from a multi-agency perspective to those with Autism. This training has enabled St Helena to retain sustainability through those that undertook Autism Licenced User Course, which will now enable this knowledge base to be retained and delivered across St Helena.”

Nicolene concluded:

 “Prior to each visit, staff from Social Care and Inclusion Education Services, known as the core group, engaged with NAS associates in a number of Skype meetings to finalise plans and schedules for both visits. We wish to thank the core group members for their hard work which enabled the realisation of successful autism training.”

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 SHG
18 July 2019

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