New Active Autism project launched

There was a large attendance at Autism Initiatives' official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' held recently in the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street. DER1419GS-032
There was a large attendance at Autism Initiatives' official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' held recently in the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street. DER1419GS-032

Mayor of Derry & Strabane Colr. John Boyle launched a new Active Autism project for local adults on the spectrum.

Local organisation, Autism Initiative’s new project was launched in Holywell Trust, where some of the activities will take place.

Speakers at the recent launch of Autism Initiatives  'Active Autism Floating Support Service' held recently in the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street. From left are Thomas Carlin, manager Autism Initiatives, Thomas McCarthy, clinical psychologist WHSCT, Richard McCrossan, service user, Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Sarah Mullan, service user and Edward Montgomery, The Honourable The Irish Society. DER1419GS-031

Speakers at the recent launch of Autism Initiatives 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' held recently in the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street. From left are Thomas Carlin, manager Autism Initiatives, Thomas McCarthy, clinical psychologist WHSCT, Richard McCrossan, service user, Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Sarah Mullan, service user and Edward Montgomery, The Honourable The Irish Society. DER1419GS-031

Launching the project on Friday, the Mayor said: “Even though there is a growing awareness of Autism, there is still a serious lack of support for individuals on the autistic spectrum.

“With the support of The Honourable, The Irish Society, and building on the foundation that has been laid by the Floating Support Service funded through the Northern Ireland Housing Executive Supporting People, this project will provide an activity base for Service Users and alleviate social isolation.”

The launch was attended by over 40 people from a wide range of organisations.

Also speaking at the event was Sarah Mullan, one of the service users and beneficiaries of the programme. At school Sarah was bullied because of her Autism. She said: “Autism is a life-long condition that doesn’t go away. It is often a seemingly hidden condition that isn’t always recognisable and therefore one that some people find difficult to understand. Isn’t it strange that not looking like I have Autism only serves to exacerbate my condition?

Raymond McCartney, MLA, Thomas Carlin, manager Autism Initiatives, Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Colr Angela Dobbins, Karen Mullan, MLA, and Colr Patricia Logue pictured at the official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' held recently in the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street. DER1419GS-030

Raymond McCartney, MLA, Thomas Carlin, manager Autism Initiatives, Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Colr Angela Dobbins, Karen Mullan, MLA, and Colr Patricia Logue pictured at the official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' held recently in the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street. DER1419GS-030

“The Active Autism programme would allow me to socialise with my own peer group where I would feel more comfortable and be able to explore things that I like to do.”

Acting Autism Initiatives’ National Director, Eamonn Slevin, said: “Active Autism is an exciting opportunity for our Housing Floating Support service to engage their clients with group based physical, social and learning activities. Combining physical activities like walking or cycling with social activities such as meals out or cinema trips creates an environment where accessing these community spaces does not seem so daunting. Likewise Active Autism will engage their clients in practical learning activities including financial planning and cooking skills, which are a key component in sustaining independence,” said Mr. Slevin.

Thomas McCarthy, Clinical Psychologist, WHSCT, Edward Montgomery, The Honourable The Irish Society and Thomas Carlin, manager Autism Initiatives, pictured at the recent official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' hosted by the Holywell Trust in Bishop Street. DER1419GS-028

Thomas McCarthy, Clinical Psychologist, WHSCT, Edward Montgomery, The Honourable The Irish Society and Thomas Carlin, manager Autism Initiatives, pictured at the recent official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' hosted by the Holywell Trust in Bishop Street. DER1419GS-028

Autism Initiatives service users Richard McCrossan and Sarah Mullan, pictured with Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, at the official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' held recently in the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street. DER1419GS-029

Autism Initiatives service users Richard McCrossan and Sarah Mullan, pictured with Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, at the official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' held recently in the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street. DER1419GS-029

Thomas Carlin, manager Autism Initiatives, Sara-Jane Hegarty, Supporting People NIHE, and Lauren Watson, co-worker, Autism Initiatives, pictured at the recent official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' at Holywell Trust in Bishop Street. DER1419GS-027

Thomas Carlin, manager Autism Initiatives, Sara-Jane Hegarty, Supporting People NIHE, and Lauren Watson, co-worker, Autism Initiatives, pictured at the recent official launch of the 'Active Autism Floating Support Service' at Holywell Trust in Bishop Street. DER1419GS-027