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Only 32% of autistic adults are in paid employment of any kind compared to 47% of all disabled people and 80% of non-disabled people (NAS 2016). Social enterprise within Autism Initiatives delivers an exciting range of supported work placements, tailored to the individual needs of autistic adults and teenagers within real and established businesses in the North West.

After making a successful referral, we meet with every potential candidate to assess their needs and suitability. If everyone is happy to proceed, we will work together to develop an autism specific placement for them. This is usually fixed-term, and can be tailored and supported by fully trained staff who also have additional practice support.

My confidence has improved by being part of Autism Initiatives, it has given me the ability to talk to people, not be so shy, and become independent. I have changed. This has helped me in work and in my personal life.Shane

How it works

We currently run three social enterprises, all located in and around the Southport area of Merseyside. Each enterprise has a different focus and its own distinct identity and customer base, which means they are all able to provide different opportunities for autistic people.

  • Discover our award-winning café A Great Little Place within The Atkinson, Southport
  • Find out more about MeCycle Café & Bike Workshop located in the heart of Ainsdale
  • Explore WeGrow our award-winning ‘green’ enterprise growing and selling vegetables, herbs and free range eggs

Find out more

Funding is required to access social enterprise. This can come from local authorities, education establishments, or can be self-funded. Please click here to make an enquiry.

“I came from college where I was bullied because I was different and wouldn’t fit in. I was distraught and even had problems with a teacher. When I met new people here, they helped me with new tasks. It’s been really interesting: serving, taking orders, doing deliveries. I gained more confidence and am happier. I fit in here. It has changed my life. I’m really proud to be here.” Mark


We've helped people... and we can help you too

If you would like to know more about each of the individual social enterprises initiatives, please visit the micro-sites accessible via the main menu to learn more.

“J has loved every minute of your fantastic opportunity. Ewe and every member of the Team have been ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, they have gone out of their way to make J feel at home, totally at ease and supported, she has learned new skills and been given new challenges and experiences, some of which were out of her comfort zone but she has grabbed these opportunities with both hands and thoroughly enjoyed them. After each session J would come home so happy, motivated, enthusiastic and looking forward to the next one.'

J’s mum following her work placement at A Great Little Place