Push for Action Christmas update

Mark Lever, Chief Executive, National Autistic Society, provides a Christmas update on the Push for Action campaign and offers his gratitude for all the work that local people have contributed to make it such a success.
We’ve now hit the ten thousand mark for supporters of the campaign – just in time for Christmas, which was our target. We’re still waiting for the response from the PM to our petition and will let you know once we get something back. And we’re continuing to push on the funding front and remain confident that we are making real progress here.
We’re getting ever-nearer to crunch time, with the Government’s announcement due in March, which means our window of influence remains open for just two more months. We have two, possibly three, more actions for you to take in those two months, so I hope we can rely on your continued support as we keep applying the pressure.
Letter to editors
Our e-action to supporters, which went out on Friday, was to send a letter to the local paper. We’ve used the Susan Boyle story as the topical hook to raise issues around the autism strategy review. Generating further local press is of course useful for keeping autism on the local agenda, but from previous experience we know that these pages are monitored by Government Departments too, and lots of local coverage strikes a chord in Whitehall.
To take the action yourself, please follow this link:
You could also circulate it to your networks to ensure that all the local media outlets in your area get the message.
Westminster action in January
Our final push in parliament is two-pronged. Firstly, we will be trying to secure a private meeting between Norman Lamb and the MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Autism. Being lobbied on this issue by knowledgeable and respected colleagues from all parties should help us to secure the outcomes we’re after.
Secondly, and more importantly, we’ll be looking to table a Westminster Hall Debate at the end of January, through Cheryl Gillan MP. This debate, which would be 1.5 hours long, would provide the opportunity for all interested MPs to speak about the strategy review, and for Norman Lamb to respond outlining his plans.
It is with this debate that we’ll really need your help. We need as many MPs to turn up as possible to show the widespread support for this issue within parliament – if just a handful of MPs turn up it doesn’t give the impression to the Minister that this is an issue many politicians care about. So we’ll want to capitalise on all the work you’ve put in over the past few months (or in many cases years!) to develop those relationships, and ask you to make sure your MP turns up to speak on your behalf. We’ll of course be in touch about this again when the time comes.
Depending on how things go and the levels of ‘noise’ we feel we still need to make, we are considering one final stunt in February to create one last ‘Push for Action’. Again, we’ll keep you posted if we go ahead with that, as we’d no doubt need your help!