Fundraisers to get jigsaw puzzle piece tattoos to help raise awareness of autism and special needs
South Tyneside residents are set to get matching tattoos to help raise awareness of special needs and disabilities in the borough.
At least 30 people will brave going under the needle later this month at a charity tattoo-a thon in South Shields.
The event, on Sunday, February 16 at Dean Road tattoo parlour Pretty and Ink, is being held in aid of South Tyneside's Kids and Young Adults Klub (KAYAKS) which supports children with special needs, such as autism and their families.
There will be three designs to choose from – including the jigsaw puzzle piece representing autism – each symbolising special needs and disabilities, to raise money and spread awareness.
It will be the second event of its kind to be held at the parlour, following last year’s successful fundraiser for Macmillan.
“We’ve always said it’s important to support charities as well as just local businesses,” said owner and tattoo artist, John Cain.
“The Macmillan event went really well, so I’m looking forward to this one and we’re fully booked already.”
All of the usual regulations apply, anyone getting inked must be over 18 and have signed a consent form, and each customer will be given a half hour slot.
“It’s a different way to make money for charity, but it’s also about raising awareness and helping the charity to get as much exposure as they can. It creates a talking point,” added John.
“KAYAKS do great things in South Tyneside and don’t always get the exposure they deserve.”
Volunteers from KAYAKS will be helping out on the day and tea and cakes will be on offer for those taking part and friends and family.
Vice chair of KAYAKS Kimberley Elliot commented: “We have 30 people booked in to get a tattoo, some for their own reasons - a son, daughter or family member who is affected - and others just to show support and spread awareness.
“It's amazing that local businesses will go out of their way to help our charity and support our work, which in turn helps us to help those that need it most. We can't thank them enough.”