Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Wrexham AFC awarded ‘Autism Friendly Award’

Wrexham AFC have been awarded the ‘Autism Friendly Award’ in recognition of their support and inclusion toward autistic people and their families.

It is one of the first organisations to successfully receive the new award, which recognises the the Club’s commitment to ensuring their grounds and matches are accessible to autistic fans.

Three key areas of focus

Wrexham AFC is a Welsh football club which was purchased by Canadian-American actor Ryan Reynolds and American actor Rob McElhenney in November 2020.

The award was given to the football club by the National Autistic Society. It is given to businesses who show inclusivity in three key areas: customer services, information and environment.

All three of these key areas must be accessible and inclusive to autistic people, and this can be adopted by any customer facing organisation who is willing to make the change.

By making these changes, organisations can make themselves more accessible to the 700,000 autistic people in the UK, who often struggle to access essential community spaces, businesses and other retailers.

Wrexham’s grounds feature an autism-friendly quiet zone, as well as a waitress-service, familiar-face stewards and a sensory room to ensure supporters with autism can attend and enjoy matches.

They club also organises autism-friendly football sessions in every school holiday and quiet walkabout sessions so that supporters can familiarise themselves with the stadium and the layout ahead of matchday.

Kerry Evans, Disability Liaison Officer at Wrexham AFC, says the club is “delighted” to have their award renewed and are fully committed to continuing the partnership with NAS to offer the best match day experience for all fans attending Wrexham games.

Creating a society that works for autistic people

Christine Flintoft-Smith, Head of Autism Accreditation at the National Autistic Society, said: “We’re delighted to announce that Wrexham AFC is one of the first organisations to receive our new Autism Friendly Award. Each venue that achieves the Autism Friendly Award will be helping to make the UK a more autism-friendly place by opening their doors to autistic people and their families.

“There are lots of small changes which businesses can make to better support autistic people, and just a little understanding can go a long way. We’re looking forward to working with as many businesses as possible to help create a society that works for autistic people.”

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