About Us

Who Are We?

Autism South East is a family run and autistic led organisation helping and supporting those on the autistic spectrum and their families throughout the South East. Mandy Garford has three children on the autistic spectrum and founded Autism South East after experiencing isolation and a lack of support and guidance. Mandy is a primary school teacher and has specialised in challenging behaviour but says that living and experiencing autism has taught her even more. Mandy wanted to share her knowledge of autism and break down the barriers of isolation felt by many families. As CEO Mandy organises and develops how Autism South East delivers that support. Mandy also leads talks on understanding Autism to organisations, businesses and groups. Tim Cook has 25 years of experience working with autistic children and adults. Tim is now step dad to Mandy’s three autistic children and they have a little one that you may see at some autism south east events! Tim works tirelessly to support families. Autism South East now has five support groups or autism cafes currently in the North Kent area. Tim runs autism friendly events and activities for autistic children and adults such as Retro- gaming, lego, coding, soft play, cake decorating, bath bomb making and more! Together, Mandy and Tim lead an executive committee, a growing group of area coordinators and volunteers, to provide knowledge and understanding of autism, support for autistic families and autism friendly groups and activities. Our activities and events are all posted on our Facebook page and website. All are welcome!

Our Mission

Autism South East aims to break down the barriers of isolation felt by many in the autistic community.

To do this we follow three strands:

• Many families feel isolated with children unable to attend clubs or activities within the community and some autistic adults can find it challenging to go out. Autism South East provides events and activities for children and adults on the autistic spectrum such as gaming, Lego, cupcake decorating, bath bomb making, social groups and more!

• It can be a challenge for parents/carers/professionals to find information or even just to have a cup of tea and a chat with someone who ‘gets it’. Autism South East provide monthly support groups or Autism Cafes across the North Kent and Medway area. An opportunity to chat or find out more.

• Many autistics feel judged or misunderstood. Autism South East provides ‘Understanding Autism’ talks to groups, organisations and businesses in order to improve the understanding and acceptance of autism within the community.

*Autism South East C.I.C. is a Community Interest Company registered in the UK. We are regulated by the Office for Community Interest Companies; they ensure we have community minded objectives and that any surplus money goes back into the community.

Registered Company Number: 11994418

Founder/Chief Executive Officer: Mandy Garford

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