Funding boost provides new garden for Sunderland autism support service

An organisation helping those affected by autism has been given the gift of a new garden thanks to support from Sunderland councillors.

Monday, 13th August 2018, 8:11 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 8:18 pm
(L-R) Coun Victoria ONeil, Coun Barbara McClennan, Carole Rutherford, Letesia Smith and Coun Michael Mordey.

Autism-in-Mind (AIM) based in Rickaby Street in the city is a service that supports people living with autism and their families.

Commissioned by Sunderland CCG, all of the organisation's employees either live with autism or have a diagnosis of autism themselves.

Since moving into their East End base they haven’t been able to make full use of the small garden at the rear because of overgrown weeds and bushes.

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But all that changed following an application to the Hendon Ward councillors which saw AIM handed a grant of £480 from the Community Chest budget that has enabled them to carry out the much needed work to the garden.

Now the group are able to make full use of the community garden for service users, parents and carers, where they can hold events such BBQ’s and fun days.

The revamped garden will also allow service users to learn new basic gardening skills like managing flower beds and growing some fruits and vegetables.

Letesia Smith, Managing Director at AIM said: “We are truly delighted with our new community garden.

“It will make such a difference to the people who attend and gives us a much needed outdoor break out space”

Councillor Victoria O’Neil, one of the Hendon Ward councillors who approved the grant, said: “Autism-In-Mind is such an excellent project providing much needed support to people living with autism and their families.

“It is so pleasing to see the positive impact the Community Chest grant has had on the garden and I hope everyone will enjoy the new space.”