Autism and Learning Disability Forums and groups which Derbyshire Carers Association are currently involved in through Peter Dawson, Learning Disability and Autism Community Engagement Worker, Derbyshire Carers Association.


·         Derbyshire Autism Partnership Board. This is a multi-disciplinary forum with people who have lived experience, carers, Health and Social services and the Voluntary Sector represented. Derbyshire Autism Partnership Board: meets quarterly, currently on Microsoft team. Chaired by Autism Services Commissioner at DCC (Jane Robbins) administrated by Hannah Tyrell. This Board covers Derbyshire and Derby City. Current issues, nationally and locally, are tabled and local needs in autism are identified and strategies for meeting need are discussed and devised, usually in sub groups. People with Autism and Family Carers are welcome to join the Partnership Board. To gain more information contact Jane, the co-chair directly or Peter Dawson, who is a long-term member of the Board on behalf of DCA.

Email for Jane Robins chair: or id


·         Experts by Experience” group This is linked to the Autism Partnership Board. It is quite a new forum and is still developing. It is open to Autistic people and family carers only except for Hanna Tyrell who administers and supports the group on behalf of DCC.  It was realised that the Partnership Board is largely a “business” forum and as such has to comply to certain formal expectations and structures. It was felt that an “Experts” only meeting would give people opportunity to form a stronger voice and therefore influence the “professionals” in the Partnership Board. After considerable debate the definition of Expert by Experience is anyone who is Autistic and anyone who is a family or non-paid carer/close supporter.

Both of the above forums are currently still held remotely on Microsoft Teams contact: for further information


·         The Autism Community of Practice (COP). This is run, also on Microsoft Teams by Autism Services, Mid-Mercia Citizens Advice Bureau. Another quite recent development it is a sort of free-floating “think-tank” on Autism and is open to Autistic people, carers, and anyone who is engaged in any way in Autism; service provider and planners, support workers and so on.

·         The Advocacy Alliance. Also run by Mid Mercia Citizens Advice Bureau this is purely a peer group forum for Autistic People and Carers. This too is still currently on Microsoft Teams.

The best contact for this is: Katie Ross, Head of Autism Services at Mid Mercia CAB. Email:


·         The Learning Disability Partnership Board. This is not running right now but when it is there are four Partnership Boards across the county; three District Boards and one County Board. Derbyshire. They are administered by Derbyshire County Council and part of the work of the Stake-holders Engagement and Consultation Team there managed by Helen Greatorex.

The Boards all have carers on them as well as people with learning disability and representatives of Health and Social care. There are currently vacancies for carer representation. Hopefully these will start meeting again (face to face) later in the year. For further information on these Boards contact:



·         The Good Health Group. This is a bi-monthly forum run by the Derbyshire Learning Disability Health Liaison team leader Rachel Johnson. It is Learning Disability focussed but strays into health issues that affect us all. It has been well attended in the past by carers and people with learning disabilities but membership of non-professionals has dwindled and more interested carers would be very welcome. The Good Health Group currently meets on Microsoft Teams. It is a very useful forum with good net-working and useful tips. Contact


·         The Amber Valley Learning Disability Carers Group (sometimes referred to by the Chair as “The Coffee Morning”) runs at Field Terrace Community Room every last Wednesday in the month 10.30 am – 12.00. Chaired by Margaret Morrison (family carer) and supported by DCA. It is what it says on the tin and often has guest speakers. All welcome. For further information contact Peter at DCA:


·         Learning Disability Carers Only – is a fortnightly Microsoft Teams forum hosted by Peter and is on every other Thursday 4.00 pm – 5.30 pm. This is hosted by Peter for DCA and is supported by Jude Boyle, Carers Commissioner. We have guest speakers as available and when  requested. For further information and/or and invite contact Peter:


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