Trust pitches in to buy caravan

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A REGIONAL organisation has pitched in to help a Stannington-based autism charity offer a new service.

The Toby Henderson Trust (TTHT) has received a grant of £9,950 from The 1989 Willan Charitable Trust to buy a static caravan.

The holiday home will be tailored to suit the needs of young people with autism and their families.

With support from Gosforth Rotary Club, fund-raisers have been held to pay for equipment and site fees.

Project Director Lesley Henderson said: “This is something we have wanted to do for a long time and we’re very grateful to The 1989 Willan Charitable Trust and Gosforth Rotary Club for their support.

“It’s a facility that will help a whole family, whether it’s with their child with autism or without if they need a break.

“There seems to be something about the caravan that appeals to autistic children. Perhaps it’s having people who love them all close together.

“We will purchase a caravan at a local site and charge a nominal fee to make it self sustaining.”

TTHT was formed in 1999 by Mrs Henderson and her husband Jim after they discovered their youngest son, Toby, had autism.

A specialist centre opened in November 2001 in the Whitehouse Farm Centre.

It provides a range of practical hands-on services to youngsters with the condition and their families.

The good news for the charity continued at the weekend as two local fund-raisers brought in £1,900 and £900 respectively.

It has also recently received a donation of £150 from the Sir Stephen Middleton Charitable Trust.