Bringing together people on the fringes


AN Asperger’s syndrome sufferer who moved to South Tyneside to meet new friends is aiming to set up a group for isolated people in the borough.

Sean Stryder, 37, who was raised in Bedfordshire, knows what it feels like to be on the fringes of society.

Last November, he took the brave decision to move to South Shields to start a new life.

He knew little about the town and had no family in the area.

But he needed a fresh start – and wanted to live near the seaside.

Now he is aiming to establish a ‘meet and mingle’ group for people who “don’t fit into the box”.

Asperger’s syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder often characterised by difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests.

Mr Stryder, of Wenlock Road, Simonside, said: “If you’re under 25 and have mental health problems there is quite a lot of support available out there.

“But for those over 25 who find it difficult to make friends there is no help or funding.

“I want to establish a group for people who are shy, or not great at making friends, but would like to meet people with similar interests.

“Part of my aim is to encourage friendship through activities, whether it be archery, bowling, snooker, going to the cinema, having a barbeque or abseiling.

“The group will be open to everyone, no matter what age. You don’t have to fit into a particular box.”

If you are interested or want to know more, call Sean on 07790 957981 or e-mail: