'Motorhome Happiness' : Autistic motorhome enthusiast overcomes online bullying to spread happiness and raise money for local charity
A South Tyneside motorhome enthusiast who was the victim of bullying due to being autistic is doing the community proud by spreading positivity and raising money for a local support charity.
James Riley, 33 from Whitburn, who has a passion for motorhomes, started his own motorhome community group on Facebook in 2019 after being subject to online bullying due to his autism and learning disabilities.
Now, Motorhome Happiness, which focuses on spreading positivity, has 39,000 members and are preparing for their first meet up, where James will be raising money for Waves Additional Need Support Charity, based in Jarrow.
James has been a member of the Waves support group since it first launched in 2017 and the organisation and the work they do is very close to his heart.
Treasurer of Waves Additional Needs Support Group, Rachel Moreton, said: “We’re so proud of everything James has done. Standing up to bullying and achieving 39,000 members is a massive achievement.
“He’s a huge inspiration to the whole group. Everyone really looks up to him and it just proves you can achieve anything whether you’ve got disabilities or not.”
Waves Support Group is run by 15 parents who all have children with additional needs and the group meets every Saturday at Bilton Hall, Jarrow.
The group is open to all ages and provides a safe space where people with disabilities can meet, socialise and take part in a number of activities including cookery, arts and crafts, hair and beauty and day trips.
James' passion for motorhomes comes from loving the sociable aspect of being able to go anywhere and his motorhome Tilly, is his pride and joy.
Later in July, James will be leading the first meet up of Motorhome Happiness members in Grantham, Lincolnshire, where 150 of its members have booked out at a camping site with their motorhomes for the weekend.
During the meetup, James will be raising money for Waves through a variety of activities including raffles, quizzes and games.To find out more about the Waves Additional Needs Support Group and the work they do, visit their website via www.waves-support-group.com.