Billionaire Philanthropist Funds Autism Mum's Mission to Empower

Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016

No Text Billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist John Caudwell is backing a brand new autism initiative set up by a Crawley mum on a mission.

Jo-Ann D'Costa-Manuel and husband Wayne Manuel discovered  a passion to offer struggling families much needed support after experiencing at first hand how difficult it is for ordinary people to access good quality early intervention for children with Autism.

Jo-Ann has founded and created Autism Parent Empower which, in March, launches a unique 12-week programme designed to empower parents to be the best advocate for their child, family and themselves.

The flagship programme has joined forces with leading Autism providers across the UK. Child Autism UK partnering with Autism Parent Empower will teach parents behavioural strategies and techniques using ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) focusing on improving life skills including speech, toileting and self-care. Brainstorm health will provide parents hands on dietary workshops and education to optimise their child's nutrition and health. Parent Angels will work on family wellbeing and  key skills needed to rise confidently and successfully to the massive challenge autism brings the whole family unit.

Enrolling on the programme would normally cost up to £2,000, but now parents can access this support at no cost at all - thanks to funding for parents and children in the first year of entry from John Caudwell.  

Jo-Ann says: “There is a huge gap in UK autism provisions, especially within early years.  John Caudwell's generous personalinvestment will help families access crucial training whilst helping us create an innovative, sustainable and effective model.”

“The best proven interventions in UK come at huge costs which only the wealthy can afford, or families willing to sell their homes and possessions as we did. This is unacceptable. Early intervention is crucial and needs to be accessible to all regardless of price tags.”

“I am extremely passionate about delivering this service and am especially grateful to John for believing in my vision. He understands the current state of autism in the UK incredibly well and is determined to make a difference. He truly is UK’s billionaire with a heart and is making several invisible plights our county is facing, visible and supported”

Jo-Ann is just as determined to fly the flag for early intervention. She adds: "We need to proactively look forward and start creating change. Tomorrow’s generation need our support today. My ultimate goal is for the Government to start funding the programme and rolling it out nationwide. Parents need less waiting lists and more action"

Autism Parent Empower launches March 3, 2016, at the House of Commons 

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