Kid in a candy store

Our AGM and family day was a resounding success, attracting nearly 150 attendees for a day which celebrated the recent successes of The National Autistic Society.

Members and stakeholders, from all over the UK, travelled to The National Railway Museum in York to enjoy a full agenda of workshops, family activities and important organisational updates.

A selection of local services and external companies also exhibited on the day, including the nearby Whalley Abbey café and artist Peter Myers.

AGM business

The morning’s AGM, introduced by Carol Homden, was an inspiring presentation of the progression our organisation has made throughout the previous year.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive, paid tribute to recent successes, including the opening of Thames Valley School, yet acknowledged the actions required to reach many more people whose lives are affected by autism.

Autistic author and illustrator Michael Barton followed with a lively presentation on the complications of everyday phrases, evoking much laughter from a highly engaged audience.

After a financial update from David Harbott, Chair of Audit and Risk Committee, a vote of special resolution to replace the Articles of Association took place. A 98% majority voted in favour of replacing the articles.

Afternoon workshops

Attendees were offered a choice of two workshops on the day, both covering pertinent issues related to autism.

Lorraine MacAlister, Autism Training Consultant, led a discussion on anxiety in autistic people. Her informative presentation outlined important differences between ‘stress’ and ‘anxiety’ and introduced coping mechanisms of people on the autism spectrum.

Members were also given a first look at the forthcoming Too Much Information campaign, in a presentation led by Chrystyna Chymera, Tom Madders and Kate Donohue. The public awareness campaign, planned for next year, will look to involve members and key stakeholders as we tackle common misconceptions surrounding autism.

Unfortunately, we are unable to share the presentation about Too Much Information as it contains sensitive data that we cannot disclose to the public. However, if you have further questions about the campaign, please email

Final responses

The day received a very positive response, with attendees enjoying the opportunity to meet fellow members and receive updates about forthcoming organisational plans. Attendees were also complimentary of family activities on the day, particularly Flute Theatre’s specially adapted workshop on The Tempest.

If you attended the day and would like to share your feedback, please email

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