A South Tyneside group dedicated to supporting adults with autism is going from strength to strength.
Autism Able was launched last year to give those diagnosed with the condition and other learning disabilities a place to go and feel safe.
The group runs weekly social evenings at Custom Space, in Captains Row, on Thursdays.
They also hold EmployAble courses to help boost the employability skills of those with autism.
The courses are full-time and are designed for those aged between 16 and 24 years old and includes a work experience placement.
Sarah Farrell, one of a team who helps run the group, said: “The group was set up last year and has been going from strength to strength.
“For a lot of people who come here, it’s about building their confidence as a lot before they started coming here said they had felt socially isolated for years.”Sarah Farrall
“It gives people with autism the chance to come together through our social evenings or learn new skills by enrolling on one of the range of courses we have on offer.
“For a lot of people who come here, it’s about building their confidence as a lot before they started coming here said they had felt socially isolated for years.
“They are learning new skills all the time and they just really enjoy it.”
Activities include quiz nights, movie nights and sports and music sessions, as well as the chance to just and chat with people their own age.
Miss Farrell added: “What we are trying to do is help them to believe in themselves and that they can achieve things.
“Some come to the social evenings, some come to take part in the study programme, some people do both.
“The social night is particularly popular, as people who come here tell us there is nothing out there for them to do. They have asked us to do more nights but we can only do so much.
“We have eight volunteers who help run Autism Able.”
The courses receive funding from South Tyneside Council, however, the Thursday night social club is self-funded.
The group specialises with people with autism, however, anyone with learning disabilities or physical disability can attend.
The first session is free to attend, then thereafter, there is a charge which goes back into the group.
For information on Autism Able, visit the facebook page or visit the website http://autismable.com/
The next EmployAble Study Programme (age 16-24) will launch in September, Anyone interested in the courses, email email@example.com or ring 07508312735.