Information & Advice

Our Community Access Officers are available on the telephone, by email or by appointment at our Southampton and Portsmouth offices

Community Access Service

The Community Access team offers a wide range of free services to support individuals, families and professionals and to raise autism awareness.

We are available on the telephone, by email or by appointment at our Southampton and Portsmouth offices. Autism Hampshire offers an information and advice service for adults, young people and children on the autism spectrum, their parents, carers and professionals. The service is available free of charge for people in Hampshire including Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

General Enquiries Tel: 023 80 766162


Community Access Southampton Office, 3 Bassett Avenue, Southampton, SO16 7DP

Community Access Portsmouth Office, Frank Sorrell Centre, Prince Albert Road, Southsea, Hampshire PO4 9HR, Tel: 023 9281 4723

Click on the arrows to expand the sections and learn more about what we do

The team have extensive information and knowledge of Hampshire wide autism related services. They offer information, advice, guidance, support and signposting.

The team also present and attend events to offer support and advice and to raise autism awareness.

This service is available pre, during and post diagnosis. They support adults, young people and children on the autism spectrum.

You can contact them by telephone or e-mail. They can offer a telephone or a face to face meeting by appointment in their Southampton or Portsmouth offices.

The Community Access Department is funded through Southampton City Council and CCG, Portsmouth Council and a Hampshire County Council Adult Services Grant to offer support for adults with autism, their families and those connected to them, professionals and the wider autism community.

The Service is based in Southampton and Portsmouth, but also offers drop-in sessions across Hampshire. The Support Service provides advice, guidance signposting and support to:

  • People who do not yet have an autism diagnosis or who have been referred by their GP for a diagnosis
  • People after a diagnosis of autism, with specific face-to-face support in helping people understand their diagnosis, what is means for them, and how to make plans to make their life better
  • People on the autism spectrum, their families and other people involved in the person’s life and professionals pre diagnosis, during a diagnosis and post diagnosis. The advice, guidance, signposting and support is on-going, for as long as a person wishes
  • People who feel they present with autism characteristics, but do not have a formal diagnosis of autism, their families, others involved in the person’s life and professionals.
  • Anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of autism. Autism Hampshire manages the Local Autism Directory (LAD) and is able to signpost to a variety of services and information.

To contact the Hampshire Autism Support Service, contact Community Access - Autism Hampshire:

Email:, Tel: 023 80 766162

Autism Alert Programme

This supports people with autism should they find themselves in any type of contact with the Police. Please contact us if you would like an:

  • Autism Alert Card
  • Autism Alert Car Sticker
  • Autism Alert App

Autism Alert Card

This yellow card should be carried at all times and shown to a police officer in the case of an incident or situation. The Police will be able to support the person in an appropriate manner and contact a named person listed on the back of the card to assist with supporting the person during their time in Police care.

Autism Alert Car Sticker

The yellow Autism Alert Car Sticker is to be placed with information facing inwards, blank side outwards, in the bottom left hand corner of the windscreen. In the event of a road traffic accident, emergency services would be able to identify that a person with autism may be on board.

Autism Alert App

This enables people who have autism to share information about their autism and support their autism. The app can be used by local young people and adults, who can chose which information to include. This might be emergency contact details, information about how your autism affects your communication or sensory issues.

We operate a well-stocked library with specialist books on all aspects of autism which are free to borrow.

Please call 023 80 766162 to arrange a visit to the library.

Resources that may help people with autism are available to borrow for a short time or to view.

Items such as weighted blankets, ear defenders and timers are made available to borrow for a small deposit. Click here to download a leaflet about the service.

The Community Access team host a variety of opportunities to get together, share experiences and to meet other people. These are free to attend, and take place in a variety of venues across the county.

A wide variety of groups are run by other organisations to support people with autism, parents and carers.We keep a regularly updated list of all local groups and list them on the Local Autism Directory and on our Facebook page.

For a full support group list please click here or look on the Local Autism Directory under the support groups category

If you are interested in starting a group please contact a Community Access Officer who will be happy to offer advice and support.

Members of the Community Access Department regularly give informal talks or presentations on aspects of autism to groups and professionals. Please contact the team for more information.

The National Autistic Society website provides increased awareness and understanding of autism. It also details some useful examples of autism awareness training that currently exists.


Every day working in Community Access is different, every individual, parent/ carer or professional that comes to us has a different question or support need. At times my role can be very challenging but when someone tells you that the advice given has made a difference to their lives it is worth every minute. I am lucky that I work with a wonderful team of people and together our mission is to support people through any challenges that they are facing to enable them to embrace the autism spectrum within their lives.

Katie - Community Access Officer



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