Beggs welcomes Autism NI boost

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Ulster Unionist East Antrim representative Roy Beggs MLA has welcomed an announcement that Autism NI has been successfully awarded £699,810 through the Big Lottery Funds “Reach Out: Supporting Families” programme to support people in Newtownabbey with autism and their families.

Mr Beggs said: “Autism NI do great work in Northern Ireland and through the grant of nearly £700,000, they will be able to extend and build upon their work in East Antrim.

“Their project will help to increase awareness of autism and help young people with autism and their families by providing advice and support.

“The scheme is also proactive in offering support to those who may not have received their final diagnosis, therefore speeding up the process where engagement can occur with Autism NI.”

Autism NI, which supports people with autism and their families, will use the grant to run the Reaching Autism families Together project.

It will support families in the Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey areas who have a child under the age of 12 with autism.

Autism NI will also support families who are waiting for a diagnosis.

The project, which is being run in partnership with a range of groups throughout the community, including Women’s Aid Ballymena, Action for Children Antrim and Homestart Carrickfergus.

It will offer advice and support to families and provide the opportunity to bring them together for social and support activities, as well as training to help them support their children.