AUTISTIC youngsters have helped produce a new safe travel guide for Wearside students.
Travel company Nexus hopes it will help young people develop the confidence to use public transport.
The booklet, which will be used in schools, was designed by children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome based at Biddick Academy’s Unity Provision.
Nexus ran a pilot scheme with the Washington school as it wanted to create a travel safety guide specifically for children with learning difficulties. It is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
Pupils had a major input into the project, putting together much of the artwork and designing the project’s mascot, a tortoise called Terry.
Nexus youth liaison officer, Rebecca Ditchburn, said: “The children at Biddick Academy have done a brilliant job with the design work and have helped us to create a teaching aid that we can use in all of our school travel safety visits.
“We talked through a range of issues that young people might find daunting about using public transport. They also came up with the idea of having a mascot to navigate through the pages.”
Gavin Jackson, assistant headteacher at Biddick Academy, said: “The work with Nexus has been a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about travel safety in a practical way.”
The booklet focuses on important themes when making a journey – including planning ahead, reading a timetable, buying a ticket, using Metro smart ticket machines and being able to ask for help.