Leeds Autism AIM
Leeds Autism AIM is a free service for autistic adults in the Leeds area who receive little or no funded support. It was founded in late 2014 by The Advonet Group and is co-led by a number of autistic adults and carers/parents of autistic adults.
We developed the service after running some specialist autism advocacy and mentoring provision. It was set up with autistic adults because there was a need identified for ongoing support to help people achieve their potential. The majority of AIM’s staff team are autistic adults.
AIM offer advocacy, information and signposting, peer support and mentoring. Normally, they would run a weekly drop-in at Lovell Park Hub on Tuesday afternoons from 3:30pm-7pm and a weekly session at the same venue for booked appointments on Fridays from 4pm-7pm
Starting in June 2019, they also offered a fortnightly post-diagnostic support session on Thursdays from 4-7pm. It is for people in Leeds who received an autism diagnosis within the last 12 months of their first appointment.
At the moment, AIM offer advocacy, information and signposting, peer support and mentoring remotely by phone, email, text chat or video call. This is due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The AIM team can offer advocacy support remotely to help make your voice heard. This can be done by phone, email, text chat or video call. Advocacy could be for a range of issues, such as benefits or accessing services. Some of our paid staff are trained advocates.
Information and signposting are both major parts of what Leeds Autism AIM can offer. You can find out info and get signposted to services via email or phone, or through our website. We can arrange to be in touch if you would like information on a specific topic or want to be referred or signposted to local services that can help you.
AIM offer one-to-one peer support for any autistic adults in Leeds who want to understand their autism a little better. This is provided remotely by our Peer Support Worker and was previously provided at our Hub sessions.
In addition to that, AIM also run two autistic-led Peer Support groups every month on Zoom.
AIM’s post-diagnostic support service is for autistic adults diagnosed within the last year of their first appointment with us. It offers one-to-one support around understanding what it means to be autistic and developing coping strategies, among other things. This is currently being offered remotely.
Our mentoring service provides one-to-one support by matching you to a specialist trained mentor. The mentor can meet with you to help identify goals and help to develop a plan to overcome barriers to achieving them.
Some of our mentors are autistic themselves, whilst all of them receive awareness and mentoring training before they are ready to be paired with a mentee.
Autistic-led Online Groups
Starting in July 2020, Leeds Autism AIM have run regular online autistic-led groups. They are Peer Support, Women-Aligned, Creatives and Coproduction on Zoom and Gaming on Discord. Visit their Online Groups page for more information.
To find out more about Leeds Autism AIM, why not visit their website.