Support group celebrates first year of making Waves

Members of Waves celebrate the groups first anniversary at Bilton Hall Community Centre, Jarrow.
Members of Waves celebrate the groups first anniversary at Bilton Hall Community Centre, Jarrow.

A support group for young people with special needs and their families is celebrating its first year and charity status.

Waves, based at Bilton Hall Community Centre, Jarrow, was launched in September last year and, since then, has seen its membership soar.

Earlier this year, it celebrated being given registered charity status, and welcomed Customs House executive director Ray Spencer MBE as a patron and Great North Dog Walk founder Tony Carlisle as an ambassador.

Chairman Susan Jackson said: “The response has been unbelievable. When we first launched we could never imagined it would take off as well as it has.

“In the past year we have raised thousands of pounds, which have helped to fund activities and our first residential to Kielder, which was attended by 90 members.

“We were nominated and shortlisted for the best community group of the year at the Best of South Tyneside Awards and became a registered charity in September.

“It is just amazing what we have achieved.”

The group celebrated its first birthday during their trip to Kielder with a second celebration taking place for everyone at Bilton Hall.

The event was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside Coun Ken Stephenson and his mum Kathy.

Waves has been supported by the National Lottery Community Foundation, Barbers, Greggs, the Hadrian Trust and Sir James Knott Trust.

The group meets on a Saturday from noon until 4pm. Families of youngsters with special needs can call in at any time to find out more about the group, or call Suzanne on 07877 008 962.