Sunderland Autism4Heroes group gun for award

Students from ESPA College taking part in an Autism4Heroes charity show for wounded, sick and injured soldiers from Phoenix Recovery House at Catterick Garrison
Students from ESPA College taking part in an Autism4Heroes charity show for wounded, sick and injured soldiers from Phoenix Recovery House at Catterick Garrison
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MUSIC makers are among youth groups on Wearside hoping to win awards for their hard work.

Autism4Heroes (A4H) was set up with the aim of raising awareness of autism and money for the Help for Heroes charity.

Now the group has been put forward for an Innovative Practice gong at the annual North East Youth Work Awards.

Students at Sunderland’s Educational Services for People with Autism College (Espa) formed a fund-raising army to show support for military personnel injured serving their country.

The youngsters, aged 18 to 21, have already met a group of servicemen from a specialist army recovery centre run by the Help For Heroes charity.

They overcame their own difficulties to go on tour to Help For Heroes’ Tedworth House Recovery Centre in Tidworth, Wiltshire.

Assistant college co-ordinator Jak Dixon said: “Being shortlisted for the Best Innovative Practice Team Award really reflects the type of work Autism4Heroes has been engaged with this year.

“Our project is all about being as unique and creative as possible in our niche of education and youth work, so getting into the final is fantastic news for us all.”

Good deeds and long service have also been recognised by the awards scheme judging panel.

Also nominated are anti-arson project Bored in Boldon and St Robert of Newminster Community Volunteer Group, which have been shortlisted for Services to Young People team awards.

Young volunteers from the Washington-based group have been involved in various projects including delivering Christmas hampers to the elderly, litter picking, running a coffee morning and planting trees.

Volunteer Alfie Simpson, from Durham, is up for a Lifetime Achievement award. The district officer for the Tyne South Sea Cadets – which includes a base at Chester-le-Street – has been volunteering with them since 1968.

All of the nominees have been invited to the North East Youth Work Awards ceremony, which will take place at the Stadium of Light on March 26.

Twitter: @janethejourno