Pupils hit South Shields beach to raise autism awareness

Pupils from Jarrow's Autistic Unit hit Sandhaven Beach to take part in a sponsored clean-up
Pupils from Jarrow's Autistic Unit hit Sandhaven Beach to take part in a sponsored clean-up

The cold and wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of school pupils heading out to help clean up a South Shields beach ahead of the Easter break.

Students from Jarrow School and its Autistic Unit braved the rain to hit Sandhaven beach to take part in a sponsored beach clean.

The event was part of a range of activities organised by the school, based in Field Terrace, for Autism Awareness Week.

The beach clean was chosen as one project due to pupils raising concerns over marine pollution.

Each year, the autistic unit organises events and activities to mark Autism Awareness Week. In the past pupils have taken part in a sponsored onesie walk and spoke at special assemblies to raise awareness of the condition and what life is like living with it.

Julianne McRae, of Jarrow School’s Autistic Unit, said: “As part of Autism Awareness activities this year, the pupils organised a sponsored beach clean as they are concerned about marine pollution.

The responses we had from the general public whilst we were on the beach were brilliant.

Julianne McRae

“The students have had an amazing week celebrating their diversity and getting involved in the community beach clean. The responses we had from the general public whilst we were on the beach were brilliant.

“We have raised £412.25 from the sponsored beach clean, cake sale and coffee morning we held within school.”

World Autism Week ran from March 26 to April 2. Each year, it aims to raise money and awareness of the condition - which affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people.

Jarrow’s Autistic Unit caters for pupils of secondary school age with varying levels of autism. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to others and is a lifelong disability. For information on autism visit www.autism.org.uk