DETERMINED Su Seymour is on a one-woman mission to make her hometown the first autism-friendly area in the country.
Su, from Bridgemary in Gosport, is one of more than 700 autism ambassadors in Hampshire, working to improve understanding of the condition and support people.
The 68-year-old was diagnosed with autism at the age of 60, and said everything ‘fell into place’ as she could now understand why she acted in certain ways.
Su, who is studying social work at Southampton Solent University, said: ‘I struggle myself but I want to make a difference to other people.
‘If people just made a few adjustments or understood a bit more, then they can enable you.’
Great-grandmother Su has been taken on as an ambassador by CHAT2Us, Gosport Access Disability Group Forum, and community group Loud and Proud, but wants more businesses and charities in the town to get on board.
She writes free training session plans on how to make reasonable adjustments to help those with autism.
This includes a recent well-received presentation with fellow ambassador Claire Lillywhite to the Land Search and Rescue Team who find people that have wandered with dementia or autism.
Another responsibility is working with families and people living with autism to help support them make adjustments and advocate for them.
Recently, Su was the only independent person to receive a grant from the Gosport Community Fund. The £200 donation will help fund posters so she can reach out to more people in the area.
Hoping to get the whole town on board, Su has been inspired by her own struggles where people have not fully understood her condition.
Su said: ‘It’s a big task but I want to do it, I want to get everybody in Gosport on board so that people with autism feel that wherever they go they will have someone that understands them and there’s someone they can call on to help them with everything they need.
‘I’m going to see the mayor, I need the town hall on board. If they take on an ambassador then surely you’re halfway there.’
Businesses or charities interested in Su becoming their autism ambassador can contact her on 07444536071.