Community autism library launched by local clinic | Research news

Community autism library launched by local clinic

Photo: The CLASS Clinic team and special guests at the library launch

Community autism library launched by local clinic

For World Autism Month, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s specialist autism clinic has launched a new library to help the community.

The Cambridge Lifespan Autism Spectrum Service (CLASS) clinic, based at the Chitra Sethia Autism Centre in Fulbourn, offers specialist assessment for adults who may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, without intellectual disability or language delay, following referrals from GPs and NHS clinicians across the region. The team works to ensure local partners can support individuals following a diagnosis.

Sue Hart, a CPFT volunteer, has worked alongside CLASS staff to organise books, CDs and DVDs into a library for families, patients and staff to learn more about autism. The new resource in the centre’s spacious Garden Room was opened by CPFT associate director for adult and specialist services Colette Turner, and the event was supported by Harry Specters chocolates, a local business creating employment for young people with autism, and Niche Comics run by the Makey family in Huntingdon – small business winner of the 2016 Great British High Street Award.

Sue organised the launch event and said: “Our new autism library opened earlier this month on World Autism Awareness Day - 2 April. People in the Cambridgeshire community are welcome to visit the library, open from 9am every Thursday morning, to help anyone caring for, or working with the autism community. We invite service-users, community groups, health and social care professionals, and education and employment organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to come and browse.”

Dr Janine Robinson, consultant clinical psychologist and autism lead at CPFT said: “Getting a diagnosis can help people access different services and receive recognition and support for social skills, housing and employment, plus disability benefits, advocacy and mentoring. Our team of psychology, nursing and psychiatry professionals works closely with the National Autistic Society and the Autism Research Centre to ensure people get the information and help they need from statutory services, the voluntary sector and the wider autism community organisations.”

“As well as running a busy clinic, the CLASS team work to improve experience of the autism pathway by sharing information and resources for service-users, families and carers. We also work with staff across CPFT to raise awareness and improve skills, so that individuals from the autism community can be understood and have their needs met when they access all services. Like many services across the Trust, we are active in research and finding new ways to optimise outcomes for individuals and improve care services.”

The library is open from 9am on Thursdays at the CLASS Clinic, Chitra Sethia Autism Centre in Fulbourn, and there are plans to increase access times for people to visit in the afternoons. Contact the service on 01223 219673 or email to arrange a visit.

For more information visit the CLASS Clinic service page.

Watch the launch film from That’s TV Cambridge to find out more: 


Useful information

  • The Cambridge Branch of the National Autistic Society provides support to individuals of all ages with autism, and their families and carers, and campaigns for better local services for those living with autism in Cambridgeshire. For more information visit:
  • The Autism Research Centre (ARC) aims to understand the biomedical causes of autism spectrum conditions, and develop new and validated methods for assessment and intervention. Find out more at:
  • Family Voice Peterborough are a network of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities and additional needs like autism, and people with knowledge and expertise in these areas. They offer educational workshops and support for the local community. Find out more at:
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