Baroness Pola Uddin of the House of Lords

(London, UK) A huge initiative was launched on Monday 3rd November in an effort to persuade Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling to reach out to families with autism during the present credit crunch and recession.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder, according to UK researchers 1 in 100 children has autism – there are over 500,000 people with autism in the country.

The Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty, Rt. Hon.John Battle MP is tabling a motion in the House of Commons in the Palace of Westminster, supporting the UK Autism Foundation initiative.

A leading peer from the House of Lords, Baroness Pola Uddin who has campaigned tirelessly on poverty in the East End of London has issued a statement supporting the initiative. The Baroness Uddin said: ‘Both the UK Autism Foundation, headed by Ivan Corea and I are calling on the Prime Minister to help the disadvantaged by increasing tax credits, the disability living allowance and the carer’s living allowance in the Budget.The vulnerable are in financial pain – many will be in fuel poverty this winter. Others face the traumatic prospect of house re-possessions. This must be stopped. Where would vulnerable children end up if their homes are taken away from them. They need urgent help and I join with autism campaigners in appealing for greater financial support for parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.’ Lady Uddin has pledged to speak out on behalf of the vulnerable and raise the issue with the Prime Minister.

As part of the initiative a leading British autism campaigner and top entrepreneur, Dame Stephanie Shirley visited the London Borough of Redbridge for the first time, to meet with parents, carers and people with autism. ‘ An Evening with Dame Stephanie Shirley’, was organised by the UK Autism Foundation, Redbridge Parents in Partnership and the autism parents group STAAR. Val Davies of the Family Fund also spoke at the meeting.

Parliamentarians are also scheduled to raise questions on poverty and autism in the House of Commons. Ivan Corea said: ‘I urge the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling to come to the aid of the vulnerable. Some families with autism have been devastated by the credit crunch and the economic downturn. They need urgent help in the Budget. We call on the Prime Minister to listen to the voices of the vulnerable.’

For information on the UK Autism Foundation:

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