Autism Accreditation

Happy Futures Support Specialists Ltd recognised for good autism practice.

Happy Futures, as a specialist domiciliary care provider rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, who supports people with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries, autism, mental health and complex health needs in North Yorkshire, has been awarded Autism Accreditation by the National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for autistic people.

The award was given in recognition of the outstanding autism practices and autism related services offered at Happy Futures, including personalised support, individualised communication methods, and activities and events in the community and at the bespoke Happy Futures Skills Centre. Happy Futures’ specialist staff with expert autism training, close and well-developed working relationships with other services and authorities and clear and strong commitment not only to achieving positive outcomes, but to maximising every person’s potential and supporting them to become more independent and learn new skills contributed to the accreditation’s award.

Autism Accreditation is an autism-specific quality assurance programme. It was set up by the National Autistic Society in 1992 to improve the support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the world, including local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, schools, colleges, care and support providers such as Happy Futures, and more. To gain Accreditation, organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development.

Angela Fletcher, the Chief Executive Officer at Happy Futures, said: “Everyone at Happy Futures is very proud to have achieved this accreditation. It highlights our commitment for continuous development and the passion we have for the individuals we support, their needs and their dreams.  As a leading provider in North Yorkshire, being awarded the Autism accreditation has nicely complemented our service provision and demonstrates that we are an evolving and progressive company.”

Anja Cole from the National Autistic Society, who was the advisor and lead assessor during Happy Futures’ accreditation process, said: “Happy Futures should be exceptionally proud of their achievement. The National Autistic Society’s Autism Accreditation programme was launched over 25 years ago and sets extremely high standards, which Happy Futures has worked incredibly hard to meet.”

According to the National Autistic Society, “Autism Accreditation highlights good autism practice and we are very pleased to mark Happy Futures’achievement. It is a great thing in itself and, we believe, will inspire other organisations and services to improve the way they support autistic people.”

There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, as well as their three million family members and carers. Autism is a spectrum condition, which means autistic people have their own strengths and varying and complex needs, from 24-hour support to simply needing clearer communication and a little longer to do things at work or at school.

Without the right support or understanding, autistic people can miss out on an education, struggle to find work and become extremely isolated. At Happy Futures, individuals with autism are provided with person-centred support that is based on a bespoke support plan which highlights any specific needs with reference to their autism, and how this affects them, offering those with autism chances, opportunities and day to day activities in a way that is suitable and preferable to them.

According to Lucy Fletcher, the Happy Futures Business Support Manager who worked with the National Autistic Society during the accreditation process, Happy Futures “have been working towards the accreditation for the past three years and in that time we have collaboratively worked as a team to ensure that we are doing the best for the individuals we support. At Happy Futures, we focus on everyone as individuals, which is why we create and tailor everything we do to the individuals’ specific needs and preferences. They are at the very centre of everything we do.”

Going forward, Happy Futures will be working towards an advanced accreditation and will start by launching a new family forum and a dedicated group for individuals with autism to reach out more and get families and individuals with autism involved in their care and support.