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Help give Michael a better quality of life
A DORSET charity has begun a major fundraising drive to revamp a Beaminster residential home.
Autism Wessex hopes to raise £10,000 to improve facilities at its Barnes Lane home.
The charity is inviting families, friends and local businesses to get behind the campaign and help to make a difference.
The charity’s marketing and fundraising manager Debbie Anderson said: “The current summer house at the property is now unstable due to the wooden structure being rotten and unsafe.
“This facility is used for all sorts of activities including sensory therapy.
“We are looking to replace the existing building with a larger structure with built-in heating and its own patio area to enable usage all year round and to provide a robust setting for additional activities.”
She added: “The support of the community is invaluable to enable the charity to ensure that residents have the best facilities and opportunities available.
“A new summerhouse at the property will greatly enhance the residents’ quality of life and anyone who gets involved.
“It will be life changing and anyone who gets involved can be extremely proud of the difference they will have made. If 100 people raised just £100, the charity would reach their £10,000 target.”
One of the home’s six residents is 58-year-old Michael Edge, who was one of the first British children to be recognised as having autism. Manager of Barnes Lane Mandy Gibson has worked with Michael since he joined the household.
She said: “When he first came here, he found it difficult to understand where he was, and what he could expect of us. So he wouldn’t interact with anybody. And it was our aim to get him out into the community, to go shopping, swimming, to take part in different activities. It’s been a long, slow process, but he’s got there.
“He’s changed so much – if he’s got a problem he can find the words to tell us. He copes with so much, that years ago, he couldn’t manage at all like going to the supermarket, visiting local attractions, taking a drive round the countryside with staff. He’s exceptionally doing well.”
Autism Wessex will be opening a new residential home in the region in 2014. For details, visit autismwessex.org.uk
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