Our Family and Specialist Support team provides support to individuals on the autism spectrum and with related conditions and their family members. Their services, which include one-to-one support, positive behaviour support packages, prevention of education breakdowns and supporting young people at home, operate in Brighton and across East and West Sussex and Kent, with plans to expand further in 2023.  

The Family and Specialist Support team celebrated its 10 year anniversary this year with our Autism 10 for 10 Challenge for Autism Acceptance Week, which raised funds to enable the team to provide urgently needed support to more families. 

The team has gone from strength to strength under the leadership of Regional Area Manager Penny Piggott and in the past five years has grown from just 6 to 30 members, with more due to join in 2023. 

The photos of the team's Christmas parties from 2017 and this December, 2022 show just how much the team has flourished. 

Penny said: "It was always my intention when I joined Aspens over 10 years ago to develop a service that had young people on the autism spectrum and their families at the heart of all we do. Never did I ever imagine I would have the pleasure of enjoying this journey with such a dedicated, passionate and strong team of dedicated professionals who share my vision.

The black and white photo was taken in 2017 at our Family and Specialist Support Christmas party, and shows Karen Enticknapp, Lucy French, myself, Chris Foster, Meraud Davis and Caehryn Tinker. Each and every member of this photo remain in the service, with the exception of Meraud who is now Aspens' Positive Behaviour Support Regional Area Manager. Thankfully, we still get to work together so she still feels very much part of the team.

The next two photos are from our Christmas party this month.  Not everyone made the cut but this was probably because they were at the bar! I would like to say thank you so much to Aspens for supporting me and the team over the years. The biggest shout out though goes to each and every single member of my team.  You have all made such an impact on so many young people with ASC, mental health and learning disabilities. You are the difference."

Lucy French, who is a Behaviour Specialist on the team said: "I am incredibly proud to have been able to watch our team grow over the years. It is an absolute pleasure to continue to work with such a dedicated, enthusiastic and most importantly, caring team. We all bring different backgrounds, ideas and experiences to the team and our roles but that’s what makes what we do work so well. A big thank you to Penny who believes in us, always supports us to grow and allows us all to put our own stamp and creativity into the work we do."

Caehryn Tinker, Specialist Intervention Advisor on the team said: “It’s amazing how much our service has grown and expanded, while still maintaining our original ethos of support which is tailored to the needs of each individual client."

The Family and Specialist Support service is just one of the services we offer at Aspens. We also offer services for adults including residential care, supported living and day opportunities and services for children and young people including after school clubs, holiday activities, overnight and short breaks and a youth and young adult engagement scheme. We have a range of vacancies available across our services, find out more about being part of the Aspens' team here. 

Find out more about our Family Support service. 

Find out more about our Specialist Support service