Jigsaw Project gear up to go walking

A Derry autism group will take part in the annual Causeway Coastal Challenge to raise the money they need to host their summer scheme.

The Jigsaw Project celebrated its second anniversary last month and is made up of parents and children affected by autism.

JIGSAW PROJECT. . . . .Families and friends of the Jigsaw Project (supporting children with Autism and their families), pictured on the City Walls this week, before taking part in a sponsored walk around the Causeway Coast to raise funds for their organisation.  DER1415MC035

JIGSAW PROJECT. . . . .Families and friends of the Jigsaw Project (supporting children with Autism and their families), pictured on the City Walls this week, before taking part in a sponsored walk around the Causeway Coast to raise funds for their organisation. DER1415MC035

Brian and Michelle McGowan’s nine year-old son, Bobby, is a member of the Jigsaw Project and Brian said his family would be lost without their support.

“We don’t receive a lot of funding and all of the work we do is completely on a voluntary basis.

“The summer scheme has been very popular these last few years and it provides invaluable support for parents of children with autism.”

Brian continued: “So that is why we’re taking part in the Causeway Coastal Challenge in May - we’re hoping people will get behind us and maybe even donate a bit of money too.”

Although the Causeway Coastal Challenge Walk has been going for 36 years this will be the first time the Jigsaw Project will have taken part.

The Causeway Coastal Challenge Walk is organised by the Bannside Rambling Club and after they were contacted by the Jigsaw Project they invited the Derry based autism support group to join them on the walk in May.

“It’s going to be tough,” smiled Michelle McGowan, “but it’s going to be worth it.”

Karen O’Reilly is one of the most recent parents to join the Jigsaw Project. Karen’s nine year-old son, Jacob, has autism.

“Jacob was diagnosed last year but for the previous three years he had to undergo a lot of tests. To be honest with you I don’t really know how I would cope without the Jigsaw Project.

“Before I became a member I felt isolated and didn’t know what to do but with the Jigsaw Project all you have to do is turn up to the weekly meetings and there will be someone to talk to. I am looking forward to the walk - it should be good fun,” said Karen.

Karen went on to explain how the Jigsaw Project has benefited her son.

“Jacob loves going to the Jigsaw Project every week. It has made a big difference to all our lives and hopefully the walk will help us to raise some funds.”

For more details on the Jigsaw Project visit the Jigaw Project Facebook Page or to donate to their Causeway Coastal Challenge visit the Jigsaw Fundraising Page