Autism Plus supports adults and young people with autism, learning disabilities, mental health conditions and complex needs. They attract referrals from local governments and Clinical Commissioning Groups on a case-by-case basis. Autism Plus employ over 450 people across the north of England in care support services, employment support and social enterprises.
Autism Plus attracts referrals from local governments and Clinical Commissioning Groups. Following the pandemic, referrals were paused due to an increased risk to staff and service users. With this reduced income, and already very slim margins, the organisation had to pivot their business model and deliver cost savings through efficiencies.
They received a loan and grant from The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF). The RRLF fund (now closed) was for social enterprises and charities, that are improving people's lives across the UK and experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19. It was established to make an existing government scheme (the Coronavirus Business Loan Scheme) more easily accessible to charities and social enterprises.
The organisation attracts referrals from local governments and Clinical Commission Groups on a case-by-case, identifying what their needs are, and working hard to provide them with a substantive response, whether that be to the individuals concerned in their service, or extending the service and support out to broader families, including parents and guardians and the wider family base.
The RRLF loan and grant has provided an essential safety net for Autism Plus following the uncertainty of COVID-19. The total £500,000 paid for a new IT system which enabled them to adapt their services in a cost-efficient manner.