Northern Trust continues to work towards becoming the first JAM Card-friendly Trust

Jayne Coville with a JAM Card promotional board

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust has re-iterated its commitment to becoming a JAM Card-friendly Trust during World Autism Acceptance Week.

The JAM Card initiative gives autistic people and those with a learning difficulty or communication barrier a discreet and easy way to tell others they need ‘Just A Minute’.

The social innovation was developed by the NOW Group, an organisation that supports people with autism and learning difficulties into employment. Its service users indicated that they would like a subtle way of telling people that sometimes they need a little extra time and patience.

Initially created in a hard copy, credit-card sized format, it has recently been developed into a smartphone app. Now there are over 160,000 JAM Card users who benefit from the reassurance it offers when they need ‘Just A Minute’.

As part of the Northern Trust’s participation in the scheme, staff are required to complete a short training programme. This ensures that they are aware of the JAM Card and how they can support autistic people and others with communication barriers when required.

Facilities are provided with the JAM Card logo and display materials so visitors and patients know that they can show their card if they need to.


Jayne Colville, Public Health Autism Coordinator with the Northern Trust, commented:  “We’re delighted to continue our journey as we embed the use of the JAM Card across the Trust. This will make interactions much easier for service users, and helps to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of all those who are accessing our services.”

Nicola Tipping, Business Development Manager at the NOW Group said: “We are pleased to welcome the Northern Trust to the JAM Card family.  The Trust’s services have so many touch points, delivering vital services to members of the public, many of whom will have communication barriers.

“By understanding the ethos behind the JAM Card and what it represents, communication is made much easier. With the JAM Card movement growing daily, it’s vital that both public and private sector organisations become JAM-Card trained, and we’d like to thank the Northern Trust for its commitment in working towards becoming the first JAM Card Friendly Trust in Northern Ireland.

“We would encourage all other Trust’s to follow in their footsteps to ensure they too are adequately meeting the needs of those with a hidden disability or communication barrier.”

JAM Cards can be accessed free of charge by contacting the NOW group on 028 9043 6400 or by visiting and NOW Group at

5th April 2024

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