Monday, October 3, 2011

Important conversations at the Labour party conference

Members of our policy and campaigns team had a busy and productive week at the Labour party conference.

It was standing room only at our cocktails and conversations event on Tuesday, which we organised joinlty with Ambitious About Autism . The event was hosted by Sally Bercow, Parent Patron of Ambitious About Autism. Ralph, one of the NAS' Young Campaigners, gave a brilliant speech about his experiences with the education system and the difficulties he and his brother had faced in getting proper support. We also heard from our key speaker Sharon Hodgson MP, the Shadow Minister for Education.

There was plenty of lively discussion at the event, thanks to our table hosts who included MPs Rob Flello, Jonathan Reynolds and Angela Smith, working alongside leading councillors, Labour party delegates, parents and people with autism. Major discussion topics included the need for more choice in school placements, and the need for more extensive provision post-16.

Throughout the week we met with lots of MPs who were interested in engaging more with our campaigns; many asked to visit our schools and pledged to find out more about local provision available in their constituencies.

Many MPs told us they were proud of the work they’d done in Government, but that plenty of work still needed to be done. The conference was a great way for us to get some commitments from MPs, and advise them on how to work in their constituencies and Parliament to improve the lives of people affected by autism across the UK.

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