In 2014, we launched a new five-year strategy. This sets out four key pillars of activity for our charity, all designed to make the maximum positive impact on the lives of the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and their families and friends. 

First, we will strive for excellence in our eight schools and 80 services. Our charity started the first autism-specific school in the world and the first autism-specific residential service in the UK. We want to continue to pioneer new practice in our schools and services. We will quantify the outcomes and impact we achieve and expand the opportunities for the adults we support to engage in enterprise activities as well as smoothing transitions between services. 

Second, we will act as a trusted partner to autistic people, families and friends by passing on the knowledge we have gained through 50 years of practice. We will help more people get the information and advice they need to navigate the key stages of life. We will learn how to anticipate people's information needs better so more people have the right information at the right time. 

Third, we will support more professionals working with autistic people to understand autism better, by sharing our knowledge through training, consultancy, conferences and expanding our Autism Accreditation scheme. We will support employers and employability specialists as well as education, health and social care professionals. 

Fourth, we will effect social change by educating more of the public and more politicians about autism. We want to move from 99% of the public being aware of something called autism to the public really understanding what more what it's like to be autistic in our society and what they can do to support autistic people. We will push for the Government policy at local and national level to include a real understanding of the impact on autistic people. 

To make these four pillars of activity possible, we need three key enablers to be in place. 

First, we need to be leaders in autism expertise. Our Centre for Autism will act as a knowledge hub at the centre of our charity, gathering and developing new autism practices.

Second, our support services need to be as efficient as possible so that we can maximise the resources available for the pillars of activity above. 

Third, we need to pay for all these activities. We will grow our fundraised income, particularly our unrestricted income through increasing regular giving. 

Through our pillars and enablers, we will help more autistic people get the understanding, support and appreciation they deserve and more  people will be able to live the lives they choose.