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Highland One Stop Shop petition

Highland One Stop Shop petition to prevent closure gathers momentum

A petition with over 20,000 names – to stop the closure of the Highland One Stop Shop for autistic people – is gathering momentum, and Autism Initiatives is urging others to support it.

The Highland One Stop Shop was recently moved out of its premises and had to work flexibly, but NHS Highland’s recent decision to no longer fund any part of the work could be the final blow, prompting the petition by a member of the public.

Autism Initiatives, who already spend over £100,000 a year to fund the One-Stop Shop, say more is needed to run this service, which is a lifeline to many autistic people.  

Catherine Steedman, Autism Initiatives’ National Director for Scotland, said, “We are extremely disappointed that we have been informed that NHS Highland are unable to contribute any funds to the running of the HOSS. This leaves the future of the service in an extremely vulnerable situation and the likelihood of closure is high. We will keep all stakeholders updated on the situation.”

The Highland One-Stop Shop was established in April 2013 as part of the Scottish Strategy for Autism’s roll-out of Autism Initiatives’ Edinburgh One-Stop Shop model across Scotland with initial two year funding from the Scottish Government. These services are believed to save NHS costs as it prevents the need for more expensive reactive care or treatment.

One autistic person who uses the service said, “It has changed my life. It’s a safe, autism friendly oasis in my life, where staff have first hand knowledge of autism.”

The One Stop Shop provides support for over 480 people through 1-1 sessions, social groups, drop-ins, training and workshops, pre and post diagnostic support and a base for a NHS diagnostician.

You can sign the petition by going to

One parent said, “My daughter has recently been diagnosed with autism and the Highland One Stop Shop has helped her a lot. Without this ongoing help I don’t know what her future holds now.”