South Shields fundraisers get jigsaw, ribbon and infinity tattoos to raise awareness of autism
The event, which took place on Sunday, February 16 at Pretty and Ink on Dean Road, South Shields, has raised more than £600 for South Tyneside's Kids and Young Adults Klub (KAYAKS) which supports children with autism and special needs and their families.
Participants could choose between three designs, the jigsaw piece and the ribbon which stand for autism, or the ‘define normal’ infinity symbol which represents diverse neurological conditions.
Some had theirs tweaked and added initials or dates in honour of someone close to them living with the condition.
“It was amazing, the atmosphere was fantastic everybody got into the spirit of it. People were talking about why they were there and who out of their family or friends had been affected,” said KAYAKS vice chair Kimberley Elliot.
“We wanted to make sure we covered all bases, not just autism, people got something that was meaningful and symbolic to them.”
Friends and family went along to offer moral support and made additional donations on the day.
Many who went under the needle were members of KAYAKS support groups, but some new faces turned up too
“A few people came who we didn’t know or didn’t know had been diagnosed and we were able to invite them along to the group and signpost them to other services,” said Kimberley.
“It’s great that an event like this can raise awareness.
“Everybody left with a smile on their face, we can’t thank the everyone enough.”
This was the second fundraiser to be held at the tattoo parlour by owner John Cain, after last year’s Macmillan event.
John is now planning another event later in the year with hopes of breaking the £1,000 mark.
“It went really well, it was a great turn out and there were quite a few first-timers which was surprising," he said.
“I want to say a massive thank you to everybody who showed up. The amount we raised was fantastic and it’s important to raise awareness of people who are doing really good things in our community.”