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One Small Change

One in every 100 people is autistic. Every autistic person is different, but for many autistic people a lack of understanding in the community or overwhelming sensations in the outside world can make everyday life more difficult.

One Small Change is a local campaign that aims to make Sandwell more autism friendly by asking businesses, community spaces and public services to make one small change to show their autistic customers that they are welcome and valued.

We are focusing on the local community becoming autism friendly, as often health and social care’s response to autism is to improve things such as accessing a diagnosis. Although this can be vitally important, life does not end there; we all want to be able to access everyday things such as shopping, the cafe, employment etc.

This campaign aims to make these everyday things accessible and friendly to autistic residents.

Beyond the Stigma

Beyond the Stigma is an ongoing stream of work that challenges and raise awareness around mental health taboos in the South Asian community.

The first phase of Beyond the Stigma took place in 2017, in a borough of Walsall where 95% of residents are Muslim. We used poetry as a medium to facilitate discussions about mental health with 180 school-aged people. Our poetry workshops culminated in schools, families, faith leaders and the local community coming together for a poetry slam.

The second phase of Beyond the Stigma brought together 5 South Asian women from Sandwell.

Combining poetry with their personal narratives of experiencing and overcoming mental health difficulties, their work challenged the stigma around mental health in their respective  communities and encouraged others to engage in the conversation.