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The right support can make all the difference for people in the autism community.

Anthony Simmons* has a unique relationship with Equity Trustees. 

The 28-year-old who lives with autism struggles to understand the notion of money and its finite nature, as well as the concept of payments.

That’s because autism affects how he sees and understands the world, financial operations and social interactions. 

When Simmon’s mother died, she left him a trust – managed by Equity Trustees – to provide for him until the age of 30. 

“We pay him a regular income from the trust,” says Equity Trustees National Manager of Trusts Jonathan Guthrie-Jones. “If he has additional expenses over and above his regular income, we look at the requests he puts forward and we release the funds. We also ensure that his money is being invested into proper channels.” 

It provides Simmons with peace of mind.

“Anthony really likes the fact that Equity Trustees helps him to manage his money. He knows the money is being responsibly looked after and it also relieves him of the burden and stress he would face if he had to make monetary decisions.” 

But it’s not just the money management that is important.

“Anthony doesn't have a big circle of friends. So we chat to him about anything and everything in life. He really enjoys that aspect of our relationship.”

However, Simmons is worried about what will happen to him when his trust ends in two years.

“Anthony could have had a family member act as his trustee, but he is afraid about what would happen if that family member dies. He often fears the consequence of experiencing a lot of change. 

“But the beauty of appointing a company like ours as a trustee is that we will continue to be there for him into the future, no matter what. We are a constant.”

Guthrie-Jones says Equity Trustees and Simmons are exploring options about what his future money management could look like. Their agreed aim is to minimise big changes and allow for Simmons to stay with

Equity Trustees but in a different capacity. 

“Our relationship with Anthony is not just about money. He trusts us and we can talk openly to each other. 

“It's important for him to really feel that we're taking care of his money worries, that he has routine and change is minimised, and that he has a long-running relationship with Equity Trustees. He feels assured that we're there for his best interests because we are.” 

* Name changed to ensure privacy.