Workers at the Helensburgh branch of an autism charity have lifted the lid on the work they do - as the organisation expands its local services.

As of this month, and for the first time in the Helensburgh and Lomond area, Scottish Autism has moved three people into their own flats in the town - with round-the-clock care provided.

All three had previously lived in shared housing - with the move giving them more independence while still having access to the support they need.

Scottish Autism's Helensburgh service started in the very early days of the Covid lockdown more than three years ago.

Perhaps unsurprisingly it has changed quickly and significantly in the time that has passed since then - but what remains the same for the workers is the sense of enjoyment and fulfilment they get from their work.

Local autism practitioner Thomas said: “We started the service the week after we went into lockdown so that brought its own problems.

“We worked remotely as a team, and we built the service up from that for the first three months and then the guys followed suit afterwards, so it was a new way of working for sure.

“I worked in the same service with the two guys, so I just wanted to see how their journeys in life were going to go forward.

“It’s so fulfilling, and it’s so good to see the guys coming on and how they’re flourishing – that’s something we see every day.”

Despite not having a shop front or 'hub' in the area, unlike several other charities, the local Scottish Autism team is hoping to get the word out about the work they do and let Helensburgh residents know that support – for people across the spectrum – is available.

While the charity provides different care services and packages, it also runs a number of activity groups, provides respite care and short breaks, and operates a helpline providing support to autistic people, their families, and people who are seeking a diagnosis.

As the charity offers more in the Helensburgh area, they’re also looking to recruit additional support workers.

Louise, a senior support officer with the charity in Helensburgh, said: “We’re quite a small organisation in this area – we’re huge in other places – but we’re hoping to develop a bit more in the community in the future.

“[Our work] could be about helping individuals maintain their home - so helping people do their chores, in terms of them keeping their house clean, and doing dishes, and ensuring that people can do what they need to do to live essentially.

“It’s about attracting the right people who are passionate and want to make a difference.”

Set up in 1968 by a group of parents, Scottish Autism is now the largest provider of autism-specific services in Scotland - and a leading authority and advocate for good autism practice.

It now employs more than 900 people across Scotland providing education, day and vocational opportunities, supported living, outreach, respite and specialist transition support.

Experience is not required to join the Scottish Autism team as the charity's main priority when recruiting is finding people who are caring and compassionate.

All necessary training will be provided where needed so those who are inexperienced should also be willing to learn.

To read more about Scottish Autism and check their vacancies, visit:

For access their helpline and advice service, call 01259 222022 or email