Autism charity opens new Lynn centre

A new branch of a charity to offer help and support to people with autism is opening in King's Lynn.

By MARK NICHOLLS

Health correspondent

A new branch of a charity to offer help and support to people with autism is opening in King's Lynn.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) branch, which will also help parents and carers in the West Norfolk area, is launched on Monday with an event at the Duke's Head Hotel.

Among the speakers will be Ros Blackburn, an adult with autism who was the basis for Sigourney Weaver's character in the film Snowcake. There will also be a talk by an NAS representative and the opportunity to find out more about the branch and the sort of support that it will offer.

The West Norfolk branch, one of 60 nationwide, will meet every month and will cater for parents and children. It will offer a parent support group and organise coffee mornings and other fundraising events to raise money to host activities for children with autism and their siblings.

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The branch also aims to work closely with local education, health and social services to raise awareness of autism and the sort of support that is needed and to try and improve the services that are available.

The NAS's branch officer for West Norfolk, Leanne Richardson, said: “We would like to invite anyone in the area who is affected by autism to come along to the launch and find out more. Living with autism can sometimes be very lonely and it is important that people know that we are here to offer support.”

The launch will take place at The Duke's Head Hotel, Tuesday Market Place, from 6.30pm-9pm. For more information contact Leanne Richardson on 01553 660224 or email nas.wnorfolk@googlemail.com

The NAS is also running a free programme in King's Lynn at the end of June called 'help!'

The free support programme is for parents and carers of young children who have been diagnosed with autism (including Asperger Syndrome) in the last 18 months and gives an introduction to autism and looks at positive ways to address the difficult issues that families can face.

The programme is delivered across two sessions, on June 26 and 27, at North Lynn Community Centre, St Lawrence Road. For more information call Gill Phillips on 0115 847 3530.

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