Leeds Autism AIM is a free service for autistic adults in Leeds who receive little or no funded support. It was founded in late 2014 by The Advonet Group (formerly Leeds Advocacy) and is co-led by a number of autistic adults and carers/parents of autistic adults.
We developed the service after running some specialist autism advocacy and mentoring provision. It was set up with autistic adults because there was a need identified for ongoing support to help people achieve their potential.
We offer advocacy, information, peer support and mentoring. Normally, we run a weekly drop-in at Lovell Park on Tuesday afternoons and quieter fortnightly ones on Friday afternoons at the same venue for booked appointments and groups.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic started in March 2020, we have been offering remote support by phone, email, text chat and video call. To make a referral for remote support, please go to our online referral form.
We also run post-diagnostic support sessions for autistic adults diagnosed within the last 12 months of their first appointment with us. At the moment, we offer these online, by phone call or text chat.
We can offer advocacy support at our weekly drop-in on Tuesday afternoons, or at our weekly Friday hub session for booked appointments only, as well as online and by phone, email or text chat. Some of our paid staff do advocacy work, some of whom are autistic themselves.
Information and signposting are both major parts of what Leeds Autism AIM can offer. You can find info and get signposted to services at either of our two autism hubs, via email or phone or through our website.
Our mentoring service provides one-to-one support by matching you to a specialist trained mentor. The mentor can meet with you to help identify goals and help to develop a plan to overcome barriers to achieving them.
Some of our mentors are autistic themselves, whilst all of them receive awareness and mentoring training before they’re ready to be paired with a mentee.
We can offer one-to-one peer support sessions with one of our autistic members of staff. They can help you to understand your autism. They are currently held either by phone, text chat or video call. Contact us or make a referral if you would like an appointment.
What we don’t do
Please note that Leeds Autism AIM do not provide support workers or personal assistants. We also don’t have case workers assigned to specific people. Please also note that our services are for autistic adults living in Leeds (aged 18+).
Sometimes, we will work with a 17-year-old as they transition into adulthood to let them know what services are available once they turn 18.
Leeds Autism AIM does provide low level short-term advocacy, peer support, mentoring and post-diagnostic support, self-advocacy resources, information and signposting. If you have never used the service before and would like our help, please make a referral.
We are part of The Advonet Group, an independent advocacy charity in Leeds. As such, we abide by their Data Protection and Procedures Policy, which is available at this link: https://advonet.org.uk/about-us/our-policies/