Why are we a campaigning organisation?
At Ambitious about Autism, we are passionate about making a difference to children and young people with autism through our services. We know we can’t directly provide services to every autistic child or young person in England, and we don’t think we should.
That’s why we campaign. Campaigning allows us to make a difference to all autistic children and young people by influencing national policy, organisational practice and individuals' attitudes and behaviours.
How do we decide what to campaign about?
Our mission is to make the ordinary possible for children and young people with autism.
We know that ‘ordinary’ means different things to everyone. And there are so many things we would like to change to achieve our mission. However, with limited resources we have to prioritise what we campaign about. It is important that we campaign on:
The things we know about
As a charity that runs two schools and two college campuses, we know about education and learning, so our campaigns like We Need an Education focus on this. As autistic young people progress to adulthood we want them to find employment or training in the community of their choice; which is why our Employ Autism campaign is important.
The things autistic young people and parents and carers want to change
Hearing directly from autistic young people, parents and carers is vital, and we work with Youth Patrons through our Ambitious Youth Network to jointly develop campaigns and advocate for change.
The things that will make the biggest difference
This means we focus on national services and national policy that impacts on all or most autistic children and young people.
Things where we think we can persuade people to do things differently
This means we spend our time where we think it’s most likely we’ll have success – so children and young people are most likely to have better experiences as a result of our campaigns.
We listen to what children and young people, their families and people who care about them are telling us, monitor the learning from our services, external evidence and research, as well as what’s going on in the media and in parliament to decide where our campaigns are likely to be most effective.
How do we fund our campaigns?
Our campaigns are funded through individual donations and grants from charitable trusts. If you want us to continue campaigning and continue supporting young people and parents to campaign, please help by donating whatever you can.
On occasion our service delivery is funded by local or national government; this doesn’t influence our campaigning priorities. Government money does not fund our campaigning activity.
How do we work with Government and Parliamentarians?
Ambitious about Autism is determined to improve the lives of autistic children and young people. This means we welcome the opportunity to work with the Government and politicians so that they have the information they need to make informed decisions.
We regularly meet with Parliamentarians from all parties and with Civil Servants from government departments to advocate about issues children, young people and families have told us matter to them.
Ambitious about Autism does not endorse or support any one political party. Instead, we work across the government to explain the impact of policies on children and young people with autism and to encourage them to commit to the changes that will make the biggest possible positive difference to their lives.