Published on 17th August 2017

Autism Hour logo

Cheltenham Borough Council voted unanimously to support the National Autistic Society’s ‘Autism Hour’ campaign in its last full council meeting.

The campaign aims to challenge myths, misconceptions and stereotypes about autism and asks businesses and shops to take simple steps for 60 minutes that lead to a more autism-friendly world.

The council will show its support for Autism Hour at 10am on Monday 2 October 2017 in its offices and will work with service partners and local businesses in the community to participate. These simple steps may include: sharing information about autism to raise awareness with employees, dimming lights and turning down music and other noise within offices and retail areas.

Mayor of Cheltenham, Cllr Klara Sudbury said “I am pleased the borough council is supporting such a positive initiative and thank Cllr Willingham for the work he is doing to raise awareness of autism. I fully support the council working with others like local businesses to make life easier for people with autism who live, visit and work in our town.”

Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles says: “Autism is a silent, invisible condition that can lead to loneliness, distance and an inability to communicate. With this simple acknowledgement, Cheltenham Borough Council is showing that we want to support those who are autistic and that we encourage others across our businesses and communities, to the same.”

Cllr David Willingham, who proposed the motion, continues: “I am glad that this motion gained cross-party support, and hope that with the council showing its support for Autism Hour, we will be able to work with the Chamber of Commerce and Cheltenham BID to encourage our business community to participate in this event.”

For media enquiries, contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]

Note to editors:

The full text of the Motion can be found here as “Motion C”

Information for the NAS can be found at the following link:

The Autism Hour campaign aims to challenge myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that contribute to 79% of autistic people feeling socially isolated and 64% of autistic people avoiding going to the shops.