People with learning disabilities and autistic people enjoy the same human rights as the rest of the population. Families and communities play an important role in promoting and upholding these rights, so that autistic people and people with learning disabilities can enjoy lives that are rich, fulfilling and fully included in society.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, everyone’s lives are being limited, and everyone is having to make changes to the way we live together and in communities, to combat the virus.

Autistic people and people with learning disabilities are likely to be worried about their own health, and that of their loved ones, while also having routines interrupted, and access to friends or colleagues halted. Those providing support to them will be concerned about their own and their family’s health too, and may be facing knock-on effects of the pandemic such as lost income or jobs.

Below are some fantastic resources for people with autism or leaning disabilities as well as their families and carers.


Funding opportunities

Cadent Foundation: Grants are available for charities, community groups and other organisations for projects that focus on research and innovation, people in vulnerable situations, the environment, and local communities.

Association of Mental Health Providers (UK) – Mental Health Response Fund: The Department of Health and Social Care has made £5m available to support the VCS mental health providers who are experiencing an increasing demand in services due to Covid-19.

Hargreaves Foundation: Grants are available for charities and educational institutions that support those under the age of 18 years, and living with a mental health problem, physical disability or growing up in poverty through the mediums of sport and education.

Clothworkers Foundation – Emergency Capital Programme: small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Priority will be given to organisations supporting vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups.

CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund: CAF has launched a rapid response Fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19.