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First Published Thursday, 2nd October, 2008.

End Child Poverty

Support End Child Poverty’s ‘Keep The Promise’ event

Join thousands of families as they campaign to end child poverty by coming to the Keep the Promise rally in Trafalgar Square on 4 October. The rally will be the biggest ever event to end child poverty and aims to hold the Government to its promise to halve child poverty by 2010 and end it by 2020. The NAS is a member of End Child Poverty, an influential coalition of 120 organisations which aims to lift families out of poverty.

The event will begin with a short march led by children and families from Millbank into Trafalgar Square and this will be followed by speakers and activities in Trafalgar Square. Families can join the rally for the march or just for the event in Trafalgar Square.

For the march, families need to meet at Lambeth Bridge, Millbank from 11.30am and the march will begin at 12.30pm. The event in Trafalgar Square will begin at 1pm and there will be children’s activities, entertainers, speeches and a ‘mass moment’.

Note: the event will be loud with bands playing and the ‘mass moment’ will involve everyone present making as much noise as possible. The timing of the mass moment will be publicised at www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/promise


With your support, we can ensure that the Government does ‘Keep the Promise’ of a generation and end child poverty.

There’s more info about ‘Keep the Promise’ at www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/promise

Related resources

End Child Poverty Campaign Rally: Gordon Brown urged to increase DLA, CLA

(London, UK) The biggest ever event to End Child Poverty takes place in London this Saturday, 4th October, with thousands expected to participate in a march from Millbank via Westminster to Trafalgar Square.

According to the latest statistics from the End Child Poverty Campaign – 1 in 3 children are in poverty. They say 5.5 million children are in families that are classed as “struggling” – 98% of children in some areas.

Campaigners are staging the ‘Keep The Promise’ event on Saturday urging the Government to keep to their promises on eradicating poverty.

Over 130 UK organisations, including the UK Autism Foundation, are supporting the End Child Poverty march.

Supporting the campaign is Ivan Corea of the UK Autism Foundation who said: ‘The credit crunch is devastating families with autism. Many are faced with increased food bills, fuel bills, some face re-possessions. We are urging the Government to step in and help the vulnerable and the marginalised financially….this must include an increase in tax credits, the disability living allowance and the carer’s allowance.’

The UKAF’s appeal is also supported by the highly influential Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green in the House of Lords. Lady Uddin has campaigned for over a decade on child poverty and minority ethnic communities in the United Kingdom, especially in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

The UK Autism Foundation has just released a newsletter highlighting ‘Autism and the Credit Crunch.’ The charity calls on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to help families with autism who are below the poverty line – the suffering is very real, according to UK autism campaigners and they are appealing urgent help. The UK Autism Foundation has announced plans to build the first ever state-of-the-art Autism Centre in London – based in the London Borough of Redbridge, build an Autism School to service the needs of children and young people with autism across East London from Tower Hamlets to Redbridge and to reach out to the poor – the charity hopes to build a fund in order to help the poor.

The charity is urging companies, entreprenuers and organisations to partner with them in the ‘vision for autism’ they have set up a target of £10 million in order to make the vision a reality. Supporting the UKAF is Lee Scott MP who is championing the cause of autism in the House of Commons, Scott is a member of the powerful House of Commons Select Committee on Health – he has accepted the position of Patron of the UK Autism Foundation and has pledged to support this work.

Parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are expected at the event on Saturday. People are meeting at Millbank, near Lambeth Bridge at 11 30 am on Saturday 4th October followed by a march through Westminster to Trafalgar Square. Family fun will follow at 1400 with speakers at Trafalgar Square. The Children’s Society celebrity campaigner Sophie Ellis Bextor will be among them.

For further particulars please see the organiser’s website:


For the UK Autism Foundation website:


Source:  http://www.bloggernews.net/117967

The following articles are courtesy of NAS Communication magazine (Autumn 2008)


Credit Crunch

Many people on the autism spectrum – and those caring for them – struggle to live on low incomes and managing money can be a major concern. To make matters worse, people on the spectrum are sometimes offered loans and credit that they can ill-afford to repay, leading to unmanageable debt.

An increasing number of the calls the NAS receive relate to a host of financial issues, such as debt and financial planning for the future. “For many people with autism, dealing with financial issues can be very difficult,” says Caroline Hattersley, NAS Head of Information, Advice and Advocacy.

Cases include the brother of a man in his fifties, diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, who lives in a supported living scheme. The caller was worried that his brother’s poor money management skills are getting him into difficulties, as he spends a lot of money and continues to be given bank loans because he is deemed capable of managing his affairs.

Confused and angry, he is in debt and can’t see a way of getting out of it.

Another story, from the case files of a Citizen’s Advice Bureau, tells of a young autistic man, mental health difficulties and dyslexia. He didn’t want a bank account but found he had to have one in order to receive his benefits. He is now in debt, having been given credit, ill-advisedly, and cannot come to an arrangement with the bank. He is unable to deal with the complexities of banking and unable to cope with the bank officials, who in turn seem unable to deal with him. Confused and angry, he is in debt and can’t see a way of getting out of it.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA)’s National Strategy for Financial Capability is funding the NAS to provide information and support to people seeking advice on financial issues, such as managing bills, debt, bank accounts and planning a more secure future. The funding will help to pay for training so that NAS Autism Helpline advisers are better equipped to talk about money matters with callers.

Also available are two new factsheets. The first, Managing your money, looks at how to draw up and keep to a budget, finding ways to increase your income and reduce your spending, how to choose and use a bank account, credit/debit, pre-payment and store cards, bills, savings, borrowing, debt and insurance. There is also a section on how to help someone else to manage their affairs, if that person does not have the mental capacity to make decisions about their own finances.

The second new factsheet, Borrowing money and managing debt, deals specifically with borrowing money and managing debt. It looks at the main types of borrowing, what to think about before you borrow and what to do and where to go for advice and help if you start to struggle to meet your repayments.

The Micawber principle


The Micawber principle – if your expenditure is more than your income, the result is misery – is as true today as when Dickens wrote David Copperfield in 1850.

Before you borrow money, ask yourself some questions.

  • *Do I need it?
  • *Could I save instead?
  • *Is there anything I could sell?
  • *Can I reduce my outgoings?
  • *Can I increase my income?
  • *Am I receiving all the benefits and tax credits I’m entitled to?


Borrow wisely

If you do decide to borrow money, do it wisely.

  • *Get a clear picture of your finances. Be realistic about what repayments you will be able to afford.
  • *Check whether you are creditworthy. If your ‘credit score is low, some lenders will not lend to you, or will only offer you more expensive loans, as they see you as a higher risk.
  • *Weigh up all the costs of the loan you are considering, including the interest rates, any fees, charges and repayments.
  • *Avoid borrowing money to pay off an existing loan.
  • *Open your bills and pay them promptly. If you don’t make repayments on time, your debts can quickly spiral out of control.
  • *Don’t borrow more than you need.

Get advice

When you borrow money, you are entering into an agreement with a lender to repay it in the amounts and timescales that you agreed. If you don’t do this, the lender is entitled to take steps to get its money back. The result of failing to pay certain debts can be very serious – you could lose your home, for example, if you fail to pay rent or mortgage repayments.

If you are consistently struggling with debts or to meet repayments, you need to take action. If you are in this situation, try not to worry – many people find themselves in debt and there is a lot of support and advice available.

  • *Don’t ignore the problem: the longer you leave it, the worse it will get.
  • *Stop borrowing.
  • *Get independent advice.

Advice and support

If you have enough money left over after paying your priority creditors and essential expenses, you may be able to arrange a debt management plan – an arrangement with your creditors to pay back the debt by regular instalments. Instead of you speaking to your creditors yourself to arrange the plan, a debt management company does it for you. Usually, you will have to pay for this service.

General money advice

The two new NAS factsheets, Managing your money and Borrowing and managing debt, are both available from the NAS Autism Helpline on 0845 070 4004 (10am-4pm, Monday-Friday) or you can request them by texting 07903 200 200.

For more information, tips and impartial tables to help you compare financial products, visit www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk

For details of tools to help you if your work includes helping other people improve their money skills, visit www.financial_capability.fsa.gov.uk

For free debt and money advice

A number of organisations offer free and confidential debt and money advice.

Citizens Advice Bureau. Details in the phone book or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk

Community Legal Service 0845 345 4345

Consumer Credit Counselling Service 0800 138 1111

Money Advice Scotland


National Debtline 0808 808 4000

Benefit and tax credit advice

Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882 200 (freephone) or visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

NAS Welfare Rights service 0845 070 4004


Life can be very expensive, especially if a parent or carer has to give up their job to fulfil caring responsibilities. In the current economic climate, we’re all having to tighten our belts. Here are some websites that can help you manage your money and debts.



Adviceguide is an online service from the Citizens Advice Bureau network. The site provides independent, practical, up-to-date information and advice on a range of rights and entitlements. Follow the heading ‘Your money’ in the left-hand column for information on benefits, employment, tax, and debts. Alternatively, you can access ‘FAQs’(frequently asked questions) and ‘Fact sheets’ in the light blue boxes on the right-hand side of the home page. Use the drop-down menu to select the subject you’re interested in and then click on the arrow. The information given states which of the UK nations it is applicable to but you can also use the blue tabs along the top of the page to select information relevant only to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

Information is also available in a range of languages: select the Cymru tab for the Welsh language version, or select a link to ‘Translated information’ in a blue box on the right-hand side. If you’d prefer to visit or talk to your local CAB, you can find their contact details under ‘Find your local CAB’ towards the bottom of the page.

Disability Alliance


The Disabilty Alliance is a charity which aims to relieve the poverty and improve the living standards experienced by disabled people. They provide information on benefits and tax credits to disabled people, their families, and professional advisors. Their website is simple and uncluttered. Follow the heading ‘Benefits’ for benefits advice and information. Alternatively, you can access their factsheets by following the link at the bottom right-hand of the page.



turn2us is a new online service to help people calculate what benefits they’re entitled to, as well as providing information on charities offering grants. The home page has two key areas. The first is on the left, where you can search for grant-making charities. You can filter by different types of charity – for example, there is a link to charities for people with disabilities – or you can type your search term into the box. On the right-hand side of the site is a calculator to help you work out which benefits and tax credits you may be entitled to.

find the hidden word

Don’t forget…

Information and advice on benefits for people with ASDs and their families is available at www.autism.org.uk/benefits or you can contact the NAS Welfare Rights Service, through the NAS Autism Helpline, on 0845 070 4004 or email welfarerights@nas.org.uk

New information sheets

  • Benefits: which benefits am I entitled to?
  • Disability Living Allowance: high rate mobility for children with an autism spectrum disorder

Available from the NAS Autism Helpline on 0845 070 4004 or email autismhelpline@nas.org.uk

NAS Websites

Search for information on the NAS and autism spectrum disorders at www.autism.org.uk

Search for books, articles and multimedia in the field of autism at www.autism.org.uk/autismdata

Search for services for autistic people across the UK at www.autism.org.uk/autismdirectory

Access personalised information about autism, entitlements and services at www.autism.org.uk/signpost

The National Autistic Society & Financial Services Authority have put together the very informative and completely Free`Managing Money Workbook – a guide for people on the Autism spectrum‘: