Thank you Bristol Autism Support post it note

Who we are

Bristol Autism Support (BAS) is a registered charity providing information, support and training for parents and carers of autistic children in BS postcodes. We believe the need for our support is self-defining. Parents and carers do not need a diagnosis for their child in order to access our services.

What we do

  • BAS is a membership organisation; most of our services are available only to our members. This enables us to deliver a high quality, tailored services. Membership is free and comes with a wide variety of benefits. Click here to learn more and become a member.
  • We create a wide range of opportunities for parents and carers of children with autism to connect with each other. Our strong community helps give parents and carers the knowledge needed to help them better support the children they look after.
  • We provide clear, relevant information about autism to parents and carers. By doing so, we hope to improve the futures and outcomes of autistic children. We use this website, our Facebook page and email to signpost information about local and national services and support. As much as possible, we share the voices of autistic adults because we know they are best placed to teach us about our children.
  • We provide volunteering and work experience opportunities that enable parents, carers and autistic young people to gain skills and improve confidence.

Due to the high volume of requests, we can no longer provide free advice about ‘autism friendly’ events. We would be happy to come to your venue to discuss this for a fee of £100 for a one-hour consultation, payable in advance.

Our structure

BAS is a registered charity, number 1186287. We exist to serve the local autism family community.

Our Team

We have a core team of decision makers that runs the organisation:

Kate Laine-Toner

Kate Laine-Toner
Founding Director
Kate set up Bristol Autism Support in June of 2012 when she could not find the support she needed to help her daughter, who was diagnosed at the age of two. Kate manages every aspect of the charity and is still heavily involved in parent/carer support. “I remember when I first realised my daughter may be autistic. I was afraid, lonely and isolated. I never want any parent to experience this, and that is why I do what I do.”

Ingrid Vlam

Ingrid Vlam
Trustee

“My whole working life has been dedicated to Social Care. Supporting people with Learning Disabilities and Autism to live the life they choose has always been my main focus.  I know the support available for young autistic people and their families is often very limited, which is why I believe that the proactive support offered by BAS at the point of diagnosis is invaluable. I am delighted to be able to support this charity.”

Jade Page

Jade Page
Trustee

“I run the  The Autism Page website and Facebook group. I am a full time mum to two autistic boys so I know first-hand how important support is.” Before having kids Jade worked in Strategy and Information and has a passion for sharing information. She is calm, level-headed and has a wealth of knowledge to share with parents and carers of children with autism.

Jane Walton

Jane Walton
Trustee

Jane is a firm believer that everyone should have the opportunity to sing to the best of their ability and reap the physical and mental benefits. She is a music teacher for several local schools and has a number of private pupils. She has also conducted several local choirs. Jane has been a member of BAS from its early days and has benefitted from support and advice, as well as the social activities for children and adults on numerous occasions.

Jason Thorne

Jason Thorne
Trustee

Jason has practical experience of autism, one of his two daughters was diagnosed in February 2019. Jason feels that his 27 years experience of working in Local Government, qualifications in Business/Management and his involvement in local voluntary projects will help BAS develop. Jason became a Trustee after attending BAS’ What Do I Do Now? course, where he experienced first hand the vital work BAS carries out to support parents/carers and their children.

Laura Collins

Laura Collins
Trustee

Laura brings to BAS her a wealth of experience in community work, outreach, event management, and project management. Laura has a keen interest in supporting the local autism family community, and has first-hand experience of caring for young family members with autism and is passionate about giving parents and carers the knowledge needed to help them better support the children they look after.

Steve Clift

Steve Clift
Trustee

Steve is our Chair and Treasurer. “I have appreciated the shared experiences of BAS for some years now, having found the group when my children were diagnosed. Even the knowledge that others were finding ways to cope with similar experiences gave us strength and confidence when we needed it most. I am keen to help BAS continue to support parents’ journeys and facilitate mutual help and encouragement. As a trustee and treasurer I shall be calling on my experiences in banking operations and the voluntary roles I have had in Scouting.”

We also have an administrative team made up of volunteers and paid staff (Lottery funded):

Sue Francomb

Sue Francomb
Management Team 

Sue has two daughters, the eldest of whom was diagnosed autistic just before her third birthday. She is passionate about raising awareness and acceptance of autism and helping other parents of children on the spectrum.

Louise Mills

Louise Mills
Management Team
Louise first came to BAS support meetings when her eldest daughter was diagnosed with ASD in 2018 after a 6 year long fight for support. Her daughter has since also been diagnosed with ADHD and her son received a diagnosis of autism during the coronavirus lockdown in early 2020. Louise undertakes regular courses to enhance her knowledge of Autism, ADHD and SEN support which will benefit the wider BAS community.

Sarah Moynan

Sarah Moynan
Management Team
Sarah lives in Bath with her husband and two children. She says, ‘following our son’s diagnosis, we were fortunate to have received great support and guidance. This has been invaluable for us moving forward and it’s vital that all parents and carers of children with autism have access to support. Working for Bristol Autism Support allows me to contribute towards such an important service, while expanding my understanding of autism to benefit my family.’

Mia Neill

Mia Neill
UWE Student Placement
Mia works as BAS’s volunteer admin assistant. They answer our phone, help source content for our newsletters, procure raffle prizes and find funding opportunities. Mia is a single parent with a neurodivergent 6-year old son who lights up their life. 

Pam Pluck

Pam Pluck
Management Team
‘I’m BAS’s Parent Support Volunteer Manager. I was previously a parent volunteer for the PDA Society. I have two children aged 10 and 5; my 10 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. I really enjoy being able to facilitate peer support so that parents can benefit from others’ similar experiences and knowledge, and that volunteers further along in their journey can offer their support and share their experiences.’

More about us:

What we’re not

Bristol Autism Support is an independent, registered charity. We are not affiliated with any other charities or organisations. We are not:

Bristol Autism Spectrum Service (BASS). BASS looks after autistic adults. Their phone number is 01275 796 200. Their email address is awp.bass@nhs.net.

Bristol Autism Project, which provides activities for children diagnosed with autism. This is run by FACE Filton. Click here to visit their website

We are also not affiliated in any way with The National Autistic Society.

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