Friday, 19 October 2012

Partnerships and 'Safe' Tweeting

This week has seen a major and exciting development at Autism Works. After successfully completing a testing project on time and to budget, the company has been invited to enter into a long-term partnership with Camasco.

Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Camasco, who employ 20 people and export case management software to organisations in the UK, Europe and the United States, were so impressed with the service we have provided at Autism Works, feeling that it has added to the quality of their product. At Autism Works though, what we are especially pleased about is that as well as Camasco selecting the company to carry out the work for them in relation to their commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), but also that they obviously appreciate our persistent and independent approach as well as quality of service we can provide. Camasco takes CSR and meeting business requirements very seriously, and by contacting with us Autism Works, they are well-placed to meet both.

In a wider context, this partnership could have a major impact. First of all, by valuing skills of workers with autistic spectrum conditions, including Asperger's Syndrome, it is supporting the Autism Act 2009 by contributing to not only spreading awareness of autism in the employment market, but also encouraging acceptance. Secondly, as Autism Works also strongly values the tangible social impact we feel it can deliver combined with Camasco's emphasis on CSR, the partnership is also an early supporter of the recently-passed Social Values Act. At Autism Works, we are especially grateful for the faith that Camasco have show in our abilities.

As readers of this blog may also remember that of previous major developments that have taken place at Autism Works, the company was selected for Social Innovation Pioneer status by Deloitte. This week we have had visits from representatives from Deloitte, including Warren Chester, who has been appointed a non-Executive Director at Autism Works and will advise us on Sales and Marketing. Together with the partnership we have just established with Camasco, this will hopefully put Autism Works in a strong position to bring in some more interesting and exciting contracts in the coming months.

Changing the subject completely, as you may seen in the news, there have been a number of high-profile controversial rants on Twitter over the past few months from cricketers, footballers, politicians and various other celebrities. As a Twitter user myself, I was interested to receive a tweet from the Post Office asking what Twitter users felt would be good guidelines for 'safe tweeting'. Something that immediately occurred to me was that practising 'safe tweeting' was a good opportunity to not only practice mindfulness by not acting on emotions and posting what turns out to be an offensive tweet, but also an area where Buddhist ethics can be applied in a modern and secular context, in this case, refraining from harsh or hurtful speech. One doesn't have to be a 'Buddhist' or even spiritual to practice this, but before tweeting, it sometimes helps to step back for a moment to think it anyone who may see and read this 140-max character statement will hurt, offend or upset. However, I will leave this for individual Twitter users to decide this for themselves.

Despite the so-called 'evils' that social networks can have courtesy of a very small percentage of irresponsible users, they are particularly useful in sharing links and in my case, promoting fundraising challenges, including my pursuit to summit Kilimanjaro to raise much-needed funds for the Daisy Chain project. For more information, be sure to visit the following link

Autism Works was also delighted to hear the news of Home Secretary Theresa May's decision not to extradite Gary McKinnon to the United States earlier this week, finally bringing an end to several agonising years of waiting. We wish Gary, his mother Janis Sharp and all his supporters the very best for the next stage of the process.

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