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National award in memory of autistic woman from Cambridge who made everyone feel included’

20 May 2024

The life of Elspeth Jones was celebrated at the 2024 Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List Awards, following her death in November last year at the age of 32. 

Elspeth worked as a Speak Out leader in Cambridgeshire for nine years, using her lived experience of Asperger’s syndrome to talk with autistic people, listen to their experiences, and share issues with professionals who could help change things for the better.

The life and work of Elspeth Jones, who was a Speak Out leader in Cambridgeshire, was celebrated at this year’s Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List Awards.

Her colleagues, which include her brother and fellow Speak Out leader Bill Jones, put together a Dimensions awards nomination in Elspeth’s memory to highlight what a fantastic self-advocate she was and all the wonderful work she did.

Elspeth’s mum Maggie, brother Bill and VoiceAbility colleague Kate Bunting were then invited to the awards ceremony at The O2’s Cineworld in London, where there was an exhibition paying tribute to Elspeth.

Speaking on the night, awards host Ken Bruce said: 

I just want to take a moment to remember Elspeth, who passed away recently. Elspeth left a legacy that I know a lot of people will feel forever.

Part of VoiceAbility’s Speak Out team, Elspeth’s campaigning work went way beyond the professional. She always made everyone feel included.

We all just want to say a big thank you to Elspeth.”

Elspeth’s mum, Maggie, said: 

I remember having a conversation with Elspeth a few years ago when life seemed hopeless to her. I asked what she would like to achieve in her life – she said to make a difference. She did it!

We are bursting with pride. And VoiceAbility’s support of her was and is immense!”

Speak Out leader Bill Jones pictured next to an exhibition at the awards which paid tribute to his sister Elspeth.

Kate, a VoiceAbility Speak Out facilitator in Cambridgeshire, added: 

For me it was a reminder that, although Elspeth is no longer with us, her wonderful work and the messages she needed people to hear, about listening to and working in the right way with autistic people, continue.

Elspeth and I worked closely together, and I am so grateful that my job with Speak Out let me be a part of supporting her to share those powerful messages.

The Dimensions awards are a wonderful way of recognising all the fantastic work that autistic people and people with learning disabilities are doing across the country to change things for the better, and it was such an honour to be there for Elspeth.”

For more information about Speak Out Cambridgeshire, a voice for people in the county who are autistic or have a learning disability, visit