At The Autistic Women's Empowerment Project we provide peer support, workshops and social opportunities to empower Women and Girls with Autism and Social and Communication Difficulties. Helping them to overcome their challenges whilst embracing their unique strengths and talents
Willow founded The Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project in 2014 as an awareness raising project after both herself and her daughter received a late diagnosis of Autism and couldn't access the support they required. Two years later Willow's personal roles and the AWE Project have evolved beyond recognition to support women and girls across the UK from diagnosis and acceptance and advocates on their behalf.
Willow's roles include:
CEO and Founder The Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project
Board Member Disability Wales
Acting Chair Autistic UK
Member of the European Autistic Network
Recent engagements include:
North Wales Police Diversity training
The Autism Show (London and Manchester) - speaker
Research project involvement "Drill Research Project"
Collaborated on a report to the United Nations lead by Autism Women Matters
"After many years of not knowing where I truly fitted into this world I have finally found my place through my passion to raise awareness of the female presentation of Autism.
"I have looked for answers to my challenges for years, none of the labels quiet fitted but receiving my diagnosis allowed me to find my identity as an Autistic adult and allowed me to connect with my peers in the Autistic Community.
"I have learnt so much from them I now have a vast understanding of the challenges faced by females in the community and the obstacles that are placed in their way by a society that is not accepting of difference. I choose to learn about Autism not from books and research papers (though I have to admit I am a bit of a research geek) but from those who have real life experience.
"I was told when I was began connecting with the community that I should steer away from personal experience because first person accounts are rarely listened too .That may have been the case then but it certainly isn’t now, people want to hear how they can help their autistic children and how they can encourage their individual strengths and talents .The want to know how they can make the world a better place for their child and how they can overcome the challenges they meet and the world is finally beginning to accept that Autistic children grow up to be Autistic adults and that a lot can be gained from listening to the experiences of those adults who have found unique and sometimes novel and inventive ways to overcome the barriers they face."