Where it all began

 In early 2014 Shirley Murphy spoke to her co-ordinator at the organisation she was a volunteer for and suggested the need for a support group for parent carers and their families who have children with Autism. A staff member from the organisation managed to secure some funding of £1000 to start off the support group.

Our first meeting was on 2nd October 2014 at Distington Community Centre, and from that meeting our membership became larger and larger from 12 to now we have 632 members.

We have since became a registered charity and have been successful in securing a grant from the lottery and our biggest achievement is gaining our own premises.

This will only lead to bigger and better things in the future of our group and the team are very excited at making this group even more fantastic than it already is…



Meet the team


Hello, My name is Shirley, mum to Daniel whose main disability is his Blindness and was diagnosed with Autism when he was 13. I am the chair and treasurer for our support group which just keeps flourishing into something quite wonderful. I have been a volunteer worker within the field of disabilities for the past 40 years and I am still as passionate now as I was then.


Jade Wren: Trustee - Hi Everyone, my name is Jade, I started coming to ASAAC monthly support meetings when I was going through the process with my little girl who was 2 at the time. The group helped me through a difficult time. I now want to give families the help I once very much needed.


Hi, I'm Lesley Little

 I have a brother who has Autism and Prader Willi Syndrome and also a niece with Autism. I started coming along to group activities with a friend to help her out and seen what an awesome job this group does, and seeing the children enjoy each others company and how the parents have other parents to support each other and talk to, its like a little family.  I asked if I could join the team.  I joined the team in 2019 and help out with the smaller children's activities.



Kirsty Smith

Hi, I'm Kirsty. I have 3 unique boys, all with Autism. One with PDA and one with Tourettes. I've set up a local support group called Tourettes West Cumbria for families in the local area after realising there was nothing after diagnosis. I'm hoping to be able to help and advise others from my own experiences.