A Dartford charity founded with the mission to make the future brighter for children living with Autism and to reach their full potential has been nominated in this year’s Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards.

Established in 2019 by Sarah Aldridge – who continues to support a family member with complex needs – Autism Apprentice CIC provides invaluable support to families caring for at least one child with Autism across Ashford, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Whitstable.

All staff bring their own unique experience; whether that is living with the condition or caring for someone with Autism, and a solid understanding of the challenges people face which covers a range of conditions from epilepsy, attention deficit syndrome and dyslexia to autism spectrum condition, language delay and hyper-mobility.

Like many other charities, the impact of Covid-19 is still being felt on fundraising. heir efforts were recently rewarded by the opening of the Stefan Taye school on the Isle of Sheppey, in memory of Stefan Taye Kluibenschadl from Margate who at 15 sadly took his own life due to bullying caused by his autism and anxiety.

Estimates say there are over 1.7 million people living in Kent, with around 300,000 who are under 18, therefore over 3,000 young people in the county will have some form of Autism, with four boys being diagnosed for one girl.

Local supporter Julie Blackmore, said the charity “has a strong ethos and a highly experienced and talented team who are passionate about education and making the difference to children and young people who think differently.”

The awards are organised by the mental health charity Mind in Bexley and East Kent and are supported by a range of organisations in the sector. To submit a nomination visit www.kentmentalwellbeingawards.org.uk

Follow the awards on Facebook and Twitter @KentMWAwards.