What do we do?
Based in Reading, AutAngel is run by autistic people for autistic people, and we work together to strengthen autistic community.
• We’re creating a strong, safe social network for autistic people
• We offer training to showcase our unique autistic perspectives
Self-knowledge is powerful
Identifying as autistic sets you on a journey of self-discovery. This is exciting, and it can also be bewildering. We’ve been there too. This is something we share as a community, and we’re learning from one another. Our ten-week programme, Exploring Being Autistic, provides a peer-supported learning environment for adults who identify as autistic (either diagnosed or self-identified), and those who are still undecided. Our book, Being Autistic, shares the journeys of nine autistic adults – from the discovery of their difference to self-acceptance and empowerment.
AutAngel is a space where you can feel at home. There are more autistic people than is often assumed, but being autistic in a neurotypical world can still feel lonely. We’re proud of our quirkiness and passion, and our ability to cut through the crap. We also know the importance and power of feeling accepted, and that’s where the AutAngel community comes in. Whether you join us on Zoom for a group, or for some gardening, there’s no need to feel like the odd one out: this is autistic space.
AutAngel news and updates
Our in-person groups
After more than 2 years of being almost exclusively online, we returned to our office, rehung the crocheted bunting, and we’re offering in-person groups again for autistic people in and around Reading (and those willing to travel here). So far we have monthly mixed and women’s peer support groups, along with a fortnightly craft group, a weekly allotment group, and a monthly Saturday drop-in at the office. We do still run online groups, including a peer support group for the autistic LGBTQ+ community. You can view our full group schedule here. If you’re new to us, and are interested in any of these groups, please sign up to our waiting list. If you’re already part of the AutAngel community, and you’d like to come along to any of the in-person groups, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We currently have spaces in a number of our groups.
Reading Borough Council support for AutAngel
We’re pleased to be supported by several RBC grants: Covid Support Grant has enabled us to return to our office and meeting space, and to resume in-person groups and activities. We’ve also received funds from 2 rounds of Reading Small Grants Fund, enabling us to run regular peer support groups and to provide an allotment group for members with a horticultural therapist.
Churchill Fellowship grant
We’re delighted that our founder and director Caroline Hearst has been awarded a grant from The Churchill Fellowship Covid-19 Action Fund, to devise and deliver a training for autistic facilitators to run an online “Exploring Being Autistic“. Training more facilitators will widen the reach of the programme, enabling more people to benefit, and our hope is that autistic adults trained as facilitators will be in a position as a result to gain or supplement their income.
Exploring Being Autistic discussion – video now available
Caroline and Laura Crane were recently in discussion online about our Exploring Being Autistic programme. You can now watch the video of the discussion here.
Join our allotment group
Are you autistic (diagnosed or self-identified), living in the Reading area, and interested in gardening? We’re looking for people who’d like to join our allotment group. You can read more about it here. If you’re interested, please either email us at email@example.com or use our contact form, and we’ll be in touch.
Being Autistic – book review
Exploring Being Autistic – an article
Until the pandemic, Exploring Being Autistic was run as an in-person 10 week programme for people (often newly) identifying or diagnosed as autistic. In the light of pandemic restrictions, we needed to rethink how we do things, so the programme moved to an online space for the first time. We’ve now begun to offer the programme online or in person. Importantly, Exploring Being Autistic is an autistic-led programme. You can read/hear feedback from previous participants here.