Our Vision

The Triple A Vision

Triple A is an autism charity working across all of Cumbria. It was set up as a charity in 2016 as a response to a perceived ‘360 degree’ vulnerability within the autism community in Cumbria, and to provide better support among autistic adults living in Cumbria.

Triple A was founded by Helen Storey, who has a long and successful record of developing projects to support marginalised communities. Helen has first-hand experience in the field of autism, underpinned by accredited learning (University Of Cumbria). Helen went on to become our first CEO, overseeing our incorporation as a CIO (a Charitable Incorporated Organisation) in 2018 and leading the charity until 2021.

Our journey since 2016 has involved two office moves (we’re now based right next to Penrith bus station, in a lovely pink building), the development of a range of services to support autistic people right across Cumbria, and a range of autism awareness training programs. We now have a small team of dedicated staff, and in 2022 we welcomed Nick Rosenthal to the team as our new CEO – just in time to help us roll out two major new projects: running an NHS-funded post-diagnostic course to support newly diagnosed autistic people and launching a scheme to help autistic adults across Cumbria into paid, long-term employment.
In the background we have a team of committed Trustees, many of whom are neurodiverse. We don’t want to point out which of our trustees and staff are autistic, as many people consider that to be very personal information, but lived experience of autism lies at the very heart of Triple-A.
The Triple A team has designed a pathway of support for autistic adults (shown below), which focuses on social support, criminal and social justice but also on health and well-being for autistic people in Cumbria.
Our charity aims to facilitate positive and sustainable change for autistic people – to raise awareness of the issues & challenges that autistic people face, and to bring people together to create and develop solutions. We may have seen a few changes as we’ve grown since 2016, but our core values remain the same!
Triple A Project Opening

Triple A’s early years

So what leads to a new autism charity being set up? Helen Storey MBE, our first CEO, shares her story with us:

“When my Grandson received his autism diagnosis, I packed myself off to University of Cumbria to study autism so that I could better understand his world.   During the ‘transition to adulthood’ sessions on my course I began to ask the question – “Are autistic people getting into trouble because of their autism …?”.

“This sparked a  journey of discovery that was a real eye-opener and resulted in hosting an ‘Autism in the Criminal Justice’ conference in November 2015.   The event brought a wide range interested parties together to unearth the issues and consequently in January 2016, Triple A was launched …”

We were delighted to see our founder, Helen Storey, awarded an MBE for her work in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.