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Speak Out Essex

Working as co-production partners with Essex County Council for the All Age Autism Partnership Board.

What does Speak Out Essex do?

Speak Out Leaders, facilitators and volunteers are part of working groups. Everyone in the groups work together as equals to come up with suggestions for how to improve services for autistic people.

Help shape Speak Out Essex

The launch events for Speak Out Essex were a great success. We received 500 comments from autistic people, their families, carers and professional support services.

Our Your Views survey (Easy Read version) continues to be circulated and shared so that autistic people, and the people who care for them can:

  • share their views and tell us if they would like to take part in a focus group
  • request a geographical area for a group to be held
  • tell us how they would like to attend a group (in person/​on line)

Data from the launch events and surveys has now been collated (and will continue to be updated as surveys come in) so that focus groups can collectively discuss each topic in detail with a view to creating We’ statements.

Parent Ron Harrison (furthest left) and community support worker Sam Geden (second from right) both attended the Speak Out Essex launch event in Colchester.

Next stage: focus groups

We would like to invite autistic people, their families and carers, as well as the partners and providers of the All Age Autism Partnership Board and other professionals, to be part of the next stage by joining us at a focus group.

Our topic focus groups follow this structure:

  • introduction of facilitators and Speak Out leaders
  • outline of how hybrid etiquette should work and agree group rules
  • presentation on what co-production is
  • update on how we obtained the information so far
  • explanation of what an We’ statement is
  • co-create of We’ statements
  • agreement on how to feed back We’ statements to the AAAPB
  • generation of feedback
  • discussion on follow-up meeting with a service representative to discuss the We’ statements
  • outline of next topic and focus group

By joining a focus group, you will have the opportunity to share your own views, and/​or the voices you represent. Tell us about anything you feel has not been considered.

Upcoming focus groups

All groups will all be hybrid so you can join us via Teams or in person. If you would like to join us at any of these, please get in touch using details below. 

If you need any adjustments, such as translators, sign language interpreter or communication aids, please let us know.

  • Diagnosis: Thursday 7 December, 1pm. Hybrid session, venue to be confirmed. This is the second session to discuss the We’ statements and we will be joined by Summit, so they are able to provide feedback and professional input.
  • Education Week: commencing Monday 15 January. More details to follow.
  • Employment Week: commencing Monday 29 January. More details to follow.

What happens after the focus groups?

We will work together to co-produce possible solutions to some of the issues which have been raised by the different groups. 

Our feedback will shared be with relevant organisations that can make a difference and will be used by ECC to inform their plans and strategies.

We welcome and encourage your involvement. To be kept up to date with all events, please email with your contact details.

Volunteer with Speak Out Essex

Speak Out Essex peer volunteers bring their lived experience to help co-produce services.