Best of Wearside Awards backing: This amazing group is celebrating 40 years of making a difference to autistic people

A group with 40 years of helping people with autism is right behind the Best of Wearside Awards.

Friday, 21st February 2020, 10:07 am
NEAS chief executive John Phillipson. Photo: Dave Charnley Photography www.davecharnleyphotography.com.

The North East Autism Society (NEAS) is celebrating 40 years as a charity. It is the leading voice and largest provider of services for those with autism and neurological differences (ND) in Northern England.

It has championed the development and created a diverse range of services and now it is backing our search for the community heroes of Wearside and County Durham.

NEAS joins a list of great sponsors of this year’s Best of Wearside Awards.

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The Best of Wearside Awards.

The Society was founded in 1980 by parents whose autistic children couldn’t access the support they needed to thrive and develop. The parents re-mortgaged their homes to acquire their first school in Sunderland to provide better educational opportunities for children.

It was somewhere where their needs were understood and they would be helped to achieve their full potential.

Founding parent Paul Shattock said: “I’m just so proud of what Sunderland did…because everything we needed was here…and above all, a sense of community that I hadn’t seen anywhere else”

Society Chief Executive John Phillipson added: “We are fiercely proud of our Wearside roots and to be a category sponsor of these celebrated awards, recognising the individuals and groups that make us proud of the region.”

The NEAS vision is to “live in a world that encourages, values and celebrates difference”

Part of its role is shaping the narrative on how people view and understand autism. Rather than the language of deficits or disability, the group wants autism and neurodiversity to be celebrated and accepted; to be seen and understood in a positive light.

Its vision also states: “We passionately believe that autistic children and adults have significant skills and strengths, which can be developed throughout their lifetime. Our approach aims to support individuals to

participate in society as independent and valued citizens, enjoying equal rights and opportunities, enriching the world around them.”

This year’s competition also has backing from headline sponsor BGL, partner sponsors Utility Alliance and Gentoo, and category sponsors Marelli and Wearside Audi.

How to nominate:

Just send your name, address and telephone number, plus your email address, if applicable.

Remember to include the category that you are putting your nominated cause into.

Also, send the name of the person you nominate, plus their address, telephone number and email (if known).

Nominate by;

:: Emailing [email protected]

:: Posting to Lynn Wild, North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), Wearfield Enterprise Park East, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR5 2TA.

The categories:

:: Community Group of the Year.

:: Student of the Year.

:: Green Champion of the Year.

:: Child of Courage.

:: Child of Achievement.

:: Young Voice of Wearside.

:: Fundraiser of the Year.

:: Volunteer of the Year.

:: Sporting Achievement of the Year.

::Community Champion Award.

Once the nomination deadline of March 2 has passed, judges will draw up the shortlist in each category.

The grand finale is at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, April 1.