Mum’s charity mission inspired by daughter

Denise Ball with daughter Amie, who are organising a chairty event to raise funds for the Autism group, Amie's Friends.

Denise Ball with daughter Amie, who are organising a chairty event to raise funds for the Autism group, Amie's Friends.

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A kind-hearted mum is raising funds to officially launch the autism charity inspired by her daughter.

Denise Ball, 48, is hosting a charity fundraiser at Sunderland gym Xercise4Less tomorrow in the hope of raising enough cash to give her autism support group ‘Amie’s Friends’ charity status.

Denise, from Belton Close, Ryhope, set up the group for her autistic daughter Amie, 24, with the aim of helping her make friends with other autistic and special needs adults in the city.

Denise, who runs the group at Chance Community Centre, in Rickaby Street, on Wednesdays, said: “I set up the charity for my autistic daughter Amie last year.

“She was fine growing up as there were loads of groups and things for her to do but as soon as she reached 18 there wasn’t anything for her.

“She started to go into depression and felt lonely and isolated. I was ringing around to try and find clubs and groups for her but there wasn’t anything, so I decided to set one up myself.”

Every week members go along to take part in games and activities in order to socialise with others with similar conditions. The group is hoping to raise £2,000 to help reach their overall target of £5,000 – enough to become a registered charity.

The fun day will run from 10am to 3pm at the gym on Wayfarer Road, and will feature a bouncy castle, a fitness boot camp, as well as a raffle - with a free year’s gym membership up for grabs. Entry is £3.

Ed Savage, General Manager at Xercise4Less in Sunderland, said: “We want to raise as much awareness as possible of the need for such a charity group to not only exist, but continue growing to reach as many people as possible.”