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About Aupeer

Empowering Connections.

Aupeer CIC is an award winning autistic led not for profit organisation founded in 2021 in response to a gap in support experienced by our founder Director Charlotte post diagnosis.

We offer accessible non- clinical peer support for autistic adults on the journey from self-identification through the assessment period and beyond. 

 

Our main services are free online autistic led peer support groups and 1-1 sessions for autistic adults.  Visit our service page to find out more.

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Meet The Team

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Charlotte Rutherford

Managing Director.
Peer Support Facilitator

 

Hi, I'm Charlotte.

I'm autistic and have ADHD, this wasn't recognised until later in my life, at the age of 36 and 39 respectively. 

 

I feel very passionate about the autistic led ethos at Aupeer and the role lived experience peer support can play in empowering and connecting my autistic community. 


Thank you to Aupeer and my autistic peers I have been able to be authentically and overtly neurodivergent for the first time in my life. Peer support from my autistic peers has been the vital part of this (ongoing!) journey towards understanding and becoming my true self


I want this opportunity to be available for others at whatever stage they are at on their journey

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Edwin Rutherford

Projects Director

Hi, I'm Edwin. I'm currently awaiting assessment for both autism and ADHD. I feel very much at the start of my journey and I am easing myself into it all.

 

Like many neurodivergent people I began to wonder about myself through speaking to other autistic people and meeting (my now wife!) Charlotte. She has supported me to be open with my differences, giving me the confidence to seek assessment.

 

It is so important that this type of empowering peer to peer connection is facilitated for more of our community.

 

Being an Aupeer board member allows me to support a great organisation and the people who deliver our vital peer support services. It is a role I am very proud of.

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Anna Harvey

Peer Support Facilitator

Hi, I’m Anna and have recently joined Aupeer as a peer support facilitator. I am mother to an AuDHD and have recently been diagnosed autistic myself. 

I first came across Aupeer when I reached out looking for a place where I could ask questions and find out more about myself as an autistic female who didn’t quite fit the mould. There’s certain things that you just can’t google!

 

I found a lovely little community of other like minded adults and have been able to ask all my random questions, and have had the added joy of finding ‘my people’ along the way. It’s a wonderful, supportive environment, made by autistics, for autistics. We celebrate our diversity, as well as listen and support through difficulties. 

Becoming a peer support facilitator means such a lot to me as I feel so passionate about helping others. We deserve to feel empowered, listened to, and seen.

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Katie Gander

Peer Support Facilitator

Hi, I’m Katie and as a late discovered autistic I have found the support and space to talk provided by Aupeer to be extremely valuable.

 

I am in my fifties and found it very hard to come to terms with my newly found neurodivergence.

 

Training as a peer support worker and volunteering with Aupeer has provided a strong framework for me to build on and means I can help provide much needed support to other autistic people facing similar challenges.

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Cristina Bowman

Director.
Peer Support Facilitator

Hi, I'm Cristina, Director with Aupeer and founder of Diff-Ability CIC. I facilitate our co-hosted Autistic Parents Group.

I was statemented as having 'Dyscalculia when I was 26 and told there was 'possibly something else' but went back to work and didn't get further testing at that time. 

 

Moving forward 20 years, my now 18 year old has a hard fought for autism diagnosis with PDA traits. Having learned a lot through the journey with my son I realised the 'possibly something else' was likely autism. 

 

After speaking to Charlotte and other autistic people at Aupeer, I realised I had found somewhere I felt accepted and safe to be my authentic self. 

 

There is power in being able to speak to others who understand, who don't judge, who accept and embrace you for who you really are and totally get where you are coming from when you share your experiences with them.

 

Aupeer was my safe place at the beginning of my journey and I will always be thankful for that support and acceptance.

The concept of peer support led by an autistic peer is informed by the knowledge, underpinned by recent research, that autistic people are best placed to know how to support other autistic people.  

Unsurprisingly, autistic people are like everyone else: we find it easier to connect with people who think and communicate like we do.  

Why Autistic Led Peer Support?

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