#AIMiversary memories: New visitors to the Lovell Autism Hub

In January 2015, a cornerstone of the Leeds Autism AIM service was launched. A weekly drop-in held on Tuesday afternoons, offering advocacy, information and signposting and peer support was set up at the Lovell Park Hub. Five years on, our drop-in is still running and has attracted hundreds of visitors in that time.

Over the course of those five years, around two-thirds of visitors to the Hubs were autistic adults. The remaining third is made up of parents, carers and partners, professionals who work with autistic people and volunteers, including Mentors and Hub Supporters.

At the very first drop-in on Tuesday 13th January 2015, we had 12 visitors. For a new service, this wasn’t too bad, but over time, more would attend on Tuesdays as word spread about what AIM could offer. Today, we average nearly 32 visitors per Tuesday session and have done for the past two years.

How have things changed between then and now? We have put together an infographic detailing the number of new visitors from April 2016 to January 2020.

How many visitors?

Using the statistics we have from April 2016 onwards, we have found that 617 new visitors have walked through the doors of the Lovell Park Hub. On average, this is 154.25 per year. With two months left to go of 2019-20, we’re already above our yearly average for this financial year!

The breakdown of new people per year is as follows:

  • 2016-17: 158
  • 2017-18: 147
  • 2018-19: 155
  • 2019-20: 157 (this is from April 2019 to January 2020)

Over time, the average number of visitors per drop-in session has risen too:

  • 2016-17: 27.11
  • 2017-18: 27.99
  • 2018-19: 31.98
  • 2019-20: 31.81 (this is from April 2019 to January 2020)

Through the years, we have developed new regular groups, including ones for autistic women and carers. More recently, we have also set up monthly gaming, craft and discussion groups, increasing what we can offer at our drop-in.

If you would like to find out more about the Lovell Autism Hub, please visit our Lovell Autism Hub page.