Princess Royal visits Essex to mark fundraising drive for specialist autism centre

Six new homes will be specially designed to meet the needs of people on the autistic spectrum

The Princess Royal was given an insight into plans for a specialist new autism unit in Essex

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has visited Essex to mark the start of a campaign to raise funds for a specialist autism service.

The new service, spearheaded by the national learning disabilities charity, Hft, will provide a pupose-built environment specifically for young adults with complex needs and who are on the autistic spectrum and moving out of assessment and treatment centres to more independent living in the community.

The royal visit marked the launch of the fundraising campaign which will be used to part fund the building of the centre.

Everything about the development has been carefully designed to meet the sensory needs of people with autism, to keep them safe, and to minimise anxiety.

The royal visit marked the launch of a fundraising campaign for the facility

Designed in consultation with people with autism, and those who support them; it will incorporate six bespoke homes with a range of personalised technology to support people to live as safely and independently as possible.

Vanessa Edwards, Hft’s director of fundraising said: “There are too many young adults living in environments unsuited to their needs.

“Through this project we are creating purpose-built homes and a supported living service where people can gain some independence and have the freedom to make choices about how they want to live.

“Today’s royal visit marks the start of our campaign to raise the remaining funds for the build, which will help us open the door for young people with autism to live the lives they choose.”

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