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Supporting third sector services to improve their provision of food and nutrition support to autistic clients

Actions and outcomes

Kevin Jones, IAS Dietitian, is providing training for local third sector services who are working with autistic people and are interested in increasing their food and nutrition knowledge to support these clients.


12 places were offered to a number of third sector services. There were challenges in sharing the information across a wide range of third sector services, which might have contributed to the initial poor uptake of the course.  It was recognised that timing might have also contributed to the poor uptake. Therefore, the IAS changed the day and time for the course, and the numbers have now increased to 11 attendees. The staff attending the course include the National Autistic Society, Glenwood Church, Cardiff and Vale Learning Disability Physio Technician, IAS Community Worker, Barnados, and a foster carer. Staff from Autistic Spectrum Connections Cymru were also due to attend.  The 10-week course is held in Glenwood Church. Completion of the course will achieve a Level 2 Accreditation with Agored Cymru using adapted Nutrition skills for life TM resources.


The aim of the course is to inform one-to-one interventions with the people that the staff support. The hope is that staff will have increased confidence when carrying out work such as skills for life, basic healthy eating, meal planning, shopping budgeting and dispelling food and nutrition myths.

Specific work that is planned following completion of the course includes:

  • The Physiotherapy Technician working in Learning Disability services is going to pilot a nutrition and physical activity group.
  • Glenwood Church are going to run a cooking group specifically for autistic people. They have been offered support from the IAS Dietitian, who can offer consultation, resources and recommendations. The IAS will signpost clients to this new resource.


The feedback from the staff attending the course has been very positive, with formal evaluation data available.

Lessons Learned

It is important to consider what time of day such courses take place to ensure staff availability. This will continue to be taken into account when planning future training. Ways of sharing information across a wider third sector network is currently being reviewed by the IAS Team.


Health Board:
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Local Authority:
Integrated Autism Service:
Cardiff and the Vale IAS