An innovative new service designed to support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families in Lanarkshire has opened its doors.
On the 9th of March, Scottish Autism’s One Stop Shop, which is part of a nationwide initiative funded through the Scottish Government’s Autism Strategy was officially opened. The Lanarkshire One Stop Shop is one of six of its kind being funded and operated across the country, in association with three partner organisations, Scottish Autism, the National Autistic Society and Autism Initiatives.
Based in North Orchard Street, Motherwell, the facility will be accessible to all people across Lanarkshire requiring its services. It will act as an information hub for individuals, families and professionals, allowing Scottish Autism to share its knowledge and experience of the condition, provide pre and post diagnosis advice and signpost people to appropriate services in the area.
Speaking at the opening of the One Stop Shop, Scottish Autism Chief Executive, Alan Somerville, said: “This new service in Lanarkshire will offer people with autism and their families much needed information, advice and support before and after diagnosis. This One Stop Shop is part of a collaborative approach between ourselves, local people and professionals currently working within the autism community in Lanarkshire to help us understand needs and priorities.
“We will be liaising closely with the health, education and social work departments of the local authorities covering Lanarkshire as well as existing support groups and services to advise those who seek support.
“Where possible we will also be calling on volunteers to work with us in making this an effective resource for the people of Lanarkshire.”
Scotland’s Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson MSP, has been at the forefront of introducing the One Stop Shop network around Scotland. Commenting on the Lanarkshire launch, he said: “Autism impacts on the whole life experience of people with the condition and their families and they may require support from a wide range of services such as housing, social care, education or employment.
“I welcome the opening of this, the second of six, new Autism One Stop Shops. This new facility will enable people with autism to access the services they need in order to lead a more independent and fulfilling life.”