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Polly Tommey Welcomes UK Government Announcement on Private Homes

TheAutismTrustPolly Tommey, the founder and trustee of The Autism Trust, welcomed yesterday’s government announcement that thousands of patients will be taken out of NHS funded private hospitals and placed in community-based care.

Polly said, “Thousands of young people with Autism and learning disabilities have been placed in care that is now seen to be inappropriate. The Autism Trust has campaigned for years on this issue. Young people with autism need to be in care that is safe and mindful of the person’s needs. It needs to be near their home and also needs to provide them with work, a social life and a stable caring environment. In many cases this is simply not happening.”

In contrast, over the last few months The Autism Trust has developed Polly’s Place in Sunninghill, Berkshire. This social enterprise store was developed by Polly Tommey to enable people with autism to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives. It provides retail and administrative experiences and showcases the artistic talents of people with an autism spectrum disorder. The Autism Trust is also promoting home working as a recognisable economic solution and encouraging homemade and handmade as an artisan skill to be celebrated and compensated for. This is the beginning of a project that will eventually provide a community based resource, enabling young autistic people to sample “real world living” by working in the community. Being developed alongside it is the concept of a Whole Health Learning Clinic offering a range of specialist training to parents and professional care staff to promote the health and wellbeing of people with autism.

The Autism Trust aims to have two establishments completed by 2016, providing the very care that the government has identified. Each of these will provide a “work/life balance” to allow young adults with autism to make a positive contribution to society in the community based care that the government announcement proposed.

Polly added, “That this kind of government action is taking place is really exciting news. We would welcome further dialogue with the government regarding this matter- a matter so important to those with autism and those with an autistic member of the family. I welcome this news as the mother of Billy, my autistic son, and also as a trustee of The Autism Trust.”


Joan Campbell

As ever Polly,you are doing a grand job, many thanks.

John Stone

Hi Polly,

Yes, we get cynical about governments (and not without reason) but it is important to acknowledge when they genuinely act in enlightened ways. The systems which they are dismantling were certainly defective (indeed sometimes much worse than that) and we need the humane face of organisations such as the Autism Trust. Now we have to ensure that the government adequately fund the replacement services with ever swelling numbers of young adults pouring out of the education system into...where? Congratulations for asking the right question and for making heroic steps to finding imaginative answers - as ever heroic.


Angus Files

Well done Polly heres Polly`s Place


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