At MAIN we support people, not ‘cases’ or ‘numbers’.

Our team includes dedicated parents, who have each individually adapted to living with Autism in its various forms. The MAIN team has the skills, experience and motivation to offer first hand support and advice to people of all ages living with Autism and Attention-Related Conditions.

MAIN exists to offer advice and services tailored to individuals and families living with Autism, to raise their aspirations, empower themselves, and to have the confidence to ‘wear the T-shirt with a smile’.

Our ambition is to change society’s perceptions of Autism, and to increase understanding of the challenges and opportunities that living with Autism brings.

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Today we got together at MAIN offices to say Thank you to Nigel Carden, who has recently resigned as Trustee.

Nigel founded the charity in 2002 when he was the head teacher at Beverley school in Middlesbrough, a specialist school for children and young adult with Autism. He recognised that young people with Autism and their families needed support outside of the school. He started with a youth/social club mainly for teenagers on the autism spectrum. Out of this, with a board of trustees and some charitable funding. he founded THE MAIN PROJECT.

This grew from strength to strength supporting hundreds of young people and their families in the Tees Valley. It expanded into education, running seminars and workshops on autism, helping families and professionals to gain a better understanding of autism and how it affects people in everyday life.

In 2011, with the economic downturn and lack of funds, The Main Project found itself in difficulties. In order to survive and to continue to provide much needed support for people and families living with Autism, it needed to downsize. This was a very difficult time and again, without foresight, drive and the dedication of Nigel, the charity would have folded. It was shortly afterwards that the charity re-branded to MAIN.

Today, MAIN not only works with children and families, but also with adults. It has an adult social group and provides support to independent living and social networking with its PA service. It has also started to help with attention-related conditions and other types of special needs. It has branched out into County Durham and provides employment for 48 people.

So Nigel, for one man with one idea you have made a huge difference to hundreds, if not thousands of people.


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