New home for autism project

AFTER a decade of campaigning and three years of living in a cramped office, the Suffolk Autism Project today has a modern new home.A drop-in centre has been opened in Kesgrave, providing a meeting place and training and workshop venue for families of children with autism.

AFTER a decade of campaigning and three years of living in a cramped office, the Suffolk Autism Project today has a modern new home.

A drop-in centre has been opened in Kesgrave, providing a meeting place and training and workshop venue for families of children with autism.

The National Autistic Society has opened the centre, at Grange Business Centre, Tommy Flowers Drive, as the county's base. It was previously based in Woodbridge where facilities were small and cramped.

Lindsay Towns, manager of the Suffolk Autism Project, said: “We have been looking forward so much to this move for a long time and at last it has happened.


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“We will be able to offer so much more to families and children from our new premises. The future will be very exciting.”

The Suffolk Autism project provides services for children between five and 13 years old with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

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More than 500 families are registered with the project, with around six new families a week contacting it for support and advice.

Ruth Sparks lives in Ipswich and her five-year-old son Oliver has autism.

She said: “The centre in Woodbridge was a bit out of reach but I still used it a lot when Oliver was first diagnosed.

“I used it particularly for the resources, the books and videos and so on and to help get training for my respite worker.”

The new building has been financed by a donation from a family of one of its volunteers who has a son with autism.

Vernon Baeuchamp, chief executive of the NAS, said: “The Suffolk Autism Project has developed around the needs of local autistic children and their families.

“It has managed to provide an excellent service from cramped conditions in a tiny office.

“The team is sure to go from strength to strength in this new, spacious office. The project continues to evolve and respond to local needs.

“It now has funding until 2008 which has enabled this move to happen.”

WEBLINK:

www.autism.org.uk

Around 535,000 people have autism in the UK

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