Autism staff show off their sporty side at fun open event

Staff, families and carers enjoy an open day at Northgate Hospital for the North East Specialist Autism Service.
Staff, families and carers enjoy an open day at Northgate Hospital for the North East Specialist Autism Service.

Healthcare staff have been getting in the sporty spirit in the run up to the Olympics with a fun-packed open day.

The North East Specialist Autism Service organised the event at Northgate Hospital in Morpeth last month for carers and families.

Among the range of activities on offer was a football match, which saw patients and staff making up the teams.

And for those who prefer individual events, all were invited to join in Olympic-themed sports, such as javelin and shot-putt.

There were also traditional bake sales and a tombola.

The fun day was organised by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), which runs the autism service.

And special guest was the trust’s search dog Coco.

NTW Activities Co-ordinator Tina Richmond said: “Coco, along with her four legged friends Figo and Jasper, came along to join in the fun and patients really enjoyed throwing her a ball and watching her search for it.”

In addition to the activities, the event offered parents, carers and families the opportunity to meet the staff who care for their loved ones in an informal setting, and to ask questions.

Visitors were also asked to share their views of the service with staff by filling out comment cards on what they thought it did well, what needs to change and what they would like to see introduced, with a lot of positive comments received, including feedback from families who particularly highlighted the open day as a success.

Ms Richmond said: “We wanted to involve our carers and families in our service as much as possible to get their feedback and opinions, as well as providing the opportunity for everyone to spend family time together.

“The sun shone for us and we had a fantastic day.

“It was such a great day and we all had such a good time that we’re already planning for next year.”