Jigsaw Trust, which supports more than 110 adults and children living with autism, has celebrated its landmark 20th birthday.
Originally founded as a school for six children, it has grown significantly to meet local need.
Jigsaw School at Dunsfold Park has around 70 pupils and boasts four consecutive outstanding ratings from Ofsted in the last 10 years.
Also at Dunsfold Park, JigsawPlus – launched in 2012 – now supports more than 40 adults at its centre for lifelong learning.
Kate Grant, one of the founding parents and now chief executive, said: “I am so proud of everything we have achieved since the charity was established.
“At that time there was very limited provision for children living with autism in our area.
“We were fortunate that a wonderful group of parents, who were inspired to do whatever they could to ensure that their children had access to the best learning opportunities possible, came together at the right time.
“My own experiences and the experiences of other families I have met have highlighted the need to continually develop the right services for individuals with autism to provide the best opportunities for building skills for independence from a very young age.
“Financial pressures on local authorities mean that a huge range of needs are not being met locally and nationally.
“It’s up to charities such as Jigsaw Trust to make the difference.
“There are still many misconceptions around autism and it can be really difficult for families caring for individuals living with autism to go out and access public spaces.
“A huge amount has changed over the last 20 years. But there’s so much more still to do. ”