'We just love seeing the smiles' - Ipswich bar sees autism-friendly activities grow
There can be no greater joy than seeing the beaming smiles of children loving life - and youngsters with learning difficulties were enjoying half-term in Ipswich even more this week as an Ipswich bar's autism-friendly activities got better and better.
Waterfront bar Wiff Waff decided to hold regular events after noticing a limited range of things to do for children with autism and their families.
Many school holiday activities are not suitable for those children, so bar manager Malcolm Watkins and his wife Emma-Jayne decided to create free events where they could play without fear of being misunderstood.
Wiff Waff's previous Disney and superheroes events have been great successes, leading a donation of £700 from the Black Shuck Motorcycle Club to help it improve the activities on offer.
That meant for Wednesday's Halloween-themed half-term event, Mr and Mrs Watkins were able to buy in new attractions such as glow pads and a messy play area.
The result was an event Mr Watkins described as "the best we've ever had".
He added: "We just love seeing the smiles on their faces.
"We don't think there are enough places that are solely for learning disabilities and autism. It's about making that comfortable atmosphere so they don't feel like they're being judged.
"Some parents may struggle financially and we know some of the autism-friendly events are very expensive. Parents also have the chance to get together and feel like they're not alone."
Wiff Waff is now preparing to hold a similar autism-friendly party at Christmas, which is due to start at 10am on Monday, December 23.
For more information, contact Wiff Waff on 01473 213985.