A Brighton and Hove charity has been shortlisted for a national award.
Mascot has been recognised for the innovative support that it provides for local parents and carers of children and young people with autism.
The parent-led group is one of three organisations to be shortlisted for the Innovative Family Support Award in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Professionals Awards 2015.
The annual event, which first took place in 2013, recognises and rewards services and professionals that make a real difference to the lives of people with the condition.
Mascot is the only support group in Brighton and Hove specifically for families who have with children with autism.
Sam Bayley, who chairs Mascot, said: “Everyone at Mascot is extremely pleased to be a finalist and would like to thank the National Autistic Society for recognising our work.
“Our families do an amazing job supporting their children to access their education or achieve the good health every parent wants for their child.
“As this complex condition becomes better understood and accepted, daily life will become much easier for many families.
“We are proud of our achievements to date and excited about the future and our role in helping Brighton and Hove be a great place to grow up in if you are a child living with autism.
“We will continue to support families, as well as work with the local authority, for instance, building on the recent proposal of an independent ‘autism lead’ as someone to support and champion parents in the same way parents support and care for their children.”
Mascot was shortlisted by a panel of 11 autism experts who judged the charity on its innovation, creativity, impact and sustainability.
Carol Povey, director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism, said: “The autism community gets together once a year to recognise individuals and services, like Mascot, doing groundbreaking work in the field of autism and improving the lives of people with the disability.
“The calibre, variety and sheer number of nominations we received is astounding and Mascot has done remarkably well to stand out.
“We hope their achievement will inspire other services to improve their own practices and go that extra mile to improve the lives of people with autism across the UK.”
The winner will be announced at the National Autistic Society’s Professional Conference on Tuesday 3 March at the Harrogate International Centre in Harrogate.
There are 13 award categories. To find out more, visit www.autismprofessionalsawards.org.uk.