Autism Awareness Week


A campaign to raise awareness of autism and encourage people to get inspired to support autistic people and their families.

Our aims are:

  • Raising the awareness of autism
  • Promoting the acceptance of autism
  • Inspire schools, colleges, businesses and other organisations to use this campaign to take action
  • Working towards and autism friendly Borough

What is autism?

Watch the Amazing Things Happen YouTube video (external link)

One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum, and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK alone.

Though everyone on the spectrum may have different experiences and needs, World Autism Awareness Week is a chance to speak up for the rights of all autistic people, and highlight the social, economic, health and educational obstacles that many autistic people face.

Wigan Councils vision is to become an autism friendly and inclusive borough.

We believe that people with autism have skills and assets to offer to our borough and are more than just a person with autism.

Find more information about getting a diagnosis, support and training (external link).

Understanding autism training

Who's it for? Parents/carers who have a child or young person aged 5-16 with a diagnosis of autism.

This webinar looks at different aspects of autism for children, including:

  • Understanding your child’s diagnosis
  • Communication
  • Behaviour
  • Sensory differences.

Watch the Understanding Autism Training YouTube video (external link)

Did you know?

  • Only 26% of autistic pupils feel happy at school.
  • Only 29% of autistic people are in any form of employment.
  • 70% of autistic people experience mental health problems.
  • Over 150,000 people are waiting for an assessment.

For some autistic people the world can feel overwhelming. In particular, understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family, school, work and social life, can be harder, which can cause a lot of anxiety.

With the right support, all people on the autism spectrum can learn and develop and be helped to live a more fulfilling life.




Useful links

Follow Autism Friends on social media to keep up to date:

World Autism Acceptance Week 2nd April – 8th April 2024


  • Autism Friends Coffee Morning at Molyneux House Wigan – Thursday 4th April, 11am – 2pm
  • Meet the Author – a unique opportunity to contribute to an upcoming children’s book about autism with local award winning author, Alex Winstanley at Wigan Library, Saturday 6th April 11am

Autism Friends

"An Autism Friend is somebody that learns about autism so they can help their community by helping to change the stigma of autism."

Book onto an Autism Friends Awareness session

Attend one of our free one-hour Autism Friends Awareness sessions (external link) and become an Autism Friend.

These sessions aim to help businesses and members of the public better understand how those living with autism will encounter situations and what they can do to break down barriers. Sessions are held regularly across Greater Manchester and to date over 4000 people have attended.

All sessions run for approximately 1 hour.​

Would you like to volunteer with us?

We’re looking for volunteers who share our passion to support the Autism Friends campaign by either becoming an Autism Friends Champion or Lead.

Who's shown their support

Autism Friends supporting Wigan Pride

Autism Friends supporting Wigan Pride

Grand Arcade, Wigan

Autism Friends at The Grand Arcade

McDonald's Autism Friendly Hour

McDonalds Autism Friendly Hour

Autism Friends at Wigan Probation Services

Autism Friends at Wigan Probation Services

National Autistic Society Awards Winner

National Autistic Society Awards Winner

The Willow Project

The Willow Project

Virgin Trains, Wigan North Western

Virgin Trains at Wigan North Western

Wigan Adult Autsm Partnership Board

Wigan Adult Autism Partnership Board

Autism Friendly Stadiums

Autism friendly stadiums

© Wigan Council