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The Kent Autistic Trust celebrate achieving 30 years....

Photo (Left to right), Deputy Lieutenant of Kent Mr Russell Race, Nicola August – Joint Chair, Jack Warner – Trustee, The worshipful The Mayor of Medway Councillor Habib Tejan, Vanessa Kelsey-Jansen – Trustee, Helen Jones – Joint Chair.

The Kent Autistic Trust were delighted to receive such warm support from The worshipful The Mayor of Medway Councillor Habib Tejan, Deputy Lieutenant of Kent Mr Russell Race and many other councilors from Kent and Medway, who took time out of their busy schedules to join supporters and staff of The Kent Autistic Trust at Chatham Dockyard last week to celebrate the charity achieving 30 years of providing services and support to people with Autism. This event was an opportunity to thank Trustees and celebrate the work of the Trust.

Christine Edwards Daem – CEO of the Trust said ‘30 years ago in 1989, 6 people moved into a home in Medway supported by 9 staff.… today in 2019 we support over 100 people in a variety of settings including; registered homes, specialist supported living, community based intensive specialist services - day, a respite service and support groups across Kent and Medway. Our aim is us to ensure that people on the spectrum who may present with challenges remain in communities with their families supported by knowledgeable and experienced people.

The scope, direction and expansion of the Trust's activities, is and will continue to be driven by the needs of the people we support. Our family support service support reaches out to over 5,000 people and we employ close to 300 staff.

All of our services are rated GOOD and 40% of our services are Outstanding; a great achievement!! Our staff turnover is half of the national average in the care sector…that is also something to celebrate. All of our supporters have enabled us to do what we do best; creating bespoke and outstanding services to people on the autistic spectrum.

Our focus on ensuring that people have fulfilling lives turns out to be a powerful lever for retaining our staff. People want to work in a setting where they can make a difference and where they know that senior management and the board truly care about the work they do and the people they support. This invisible, but tangible golden thread runs throughout our organisation and is what pulls us together, blessing us with an amazing and committed workforce.

It’s difficult to bottle the unique features and culture of our organisation; in fact one of the new staff told me the other day ; ‘ I feel cheated; I have worked in care most of my life and I only have discovered KAT now…I now realise how rewarding the job is and how it should be done. I really love my job despite the challenges.’

Helen Jones – Joint Chair commented ‘The Trust’s work could not be delivered without a cohort of exceptionally able and committed staff and the Board takes this opportunity to thank our outstanding and committed workforce. The Trustees are immensely proud of our achievements but are also looking forward to our next 30 years with great enthusiasm and confidence. We plan for our next phase to be just as remarkable and our positive impact will reach many more autistic people and their families.

Photo: Carlton; Supported by the Trust, joining the celebrations

The Worshipful The Mayor of Medway Councillor Habib Tejan said ‘The Trust is 30 years old and is a good opportunity to thank the people that are often overlooked and these are The Trustees of the Trust; some have given 30 years of their lives to make a difference to others and therefore special thanks go to Phil white, previously the Chair of the Trust and Jack warner who was also a founder member of the Charity some 30 years ago. Special thanks also go to the joint chairs, Nicola August and Helen Jones who both have given so much time and passion to the Charity and who’s leadership is instrumental in the ongoing success and exciting future of The Trust. Medway Council is very proud to support this remarkable Charity , who’s effort to transformed the lives on people on the Autistic Spectrum is recognized by the Outstanding ratings of the Care Quality Commission.

Deputy Lieutenant of Kent Mr Russell Race said ‘The voluntary work has been driven by passion to make a difference to others and in doing so the Trustees shaped a very remarkable Charity, unique in its approach and successful in the outcomes for people on the Autistic Spectrum, recognised by the Care quality Commission by the astonishing achievement of outstanding services’.It is worthy to celebrate this selfless commitment and mark this opportunity and hail the Trustees as a great example of community and voluntary service. People like the Trustees enrich communities and ensure that people who may be disadvantaged or need support have better lives.

Our 30 years celebrates many other recent achievements. We have been recognized nationally by the Parliamentary Review and featured an article this year, our Family Support service won their first award from the Autism Professional Awards last year and the Trust have been finalists for 2 awards with the Kent Charity Awards and the Perry’s Exceptional Awards in 2018.

Our Epilepsy and Autism Conference takes place on 20th September on Friday 20th September 2019 at The Bridgewood Manor Hotel, Chatham, Kent, and we have finally launched our weekly lottery, giving you the chance to win £25,000 for as little as £1 per week, helping raise funds for our Family Support service, who rely soley on grants and donations to enable us to keep providing this free, vital service.

The Trust is also an active campaigner and was part of the ‘Know your Rights’ campaign launched in April 2019.

For further information on our conference or training, please contact Janet Davenport on or for information on our weekly lottery, please visit our website or contact Serita Boxall – Grants & Appeals Officer on

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