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Council Hears From National Autistic Society

Council Hears From National Autistic Society

January 24, 2019

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council was pleased to welcome representatives from the National Autistic Society (NAS) to a recent committee meeting at which they advised the Council on its new state of the art facility that will open in March on the outskirts of Carryduff.

Ms Shirelle Stewart, Director, and Mr Timothy Glen, Lead Manager, Adult Services of NAS attended the Corporate Services Committee meeting. This charity operates across Northern Ireland providing local specialist help, information and care for autistic children and adults, and their families.  They offer health and social services including support in your home, social groups, relationship and health education, and parent groups.

Councillor Nathan Anderson, Chairman of the Council’s Corporate Services Committee, speaking about the charity, said: “Our council area is across two health trusts, Belfast and South Eastern, both of which the NAS offer support within.  The proposed new facility will serve these two trusts and provide a functional space allowing NAS to deliver bespoke specialist autism services to young people, adults and their families seven days a week. 

“The ability to provide personalised services will be invaluable to the users of this new facility.  Through enjoyable, effective and meaningful services they can encourage autistic adults to learn new skills and become as independent as possible which will help them feel included in society.  The Council looks forward to this new facility opening and is confident that it will benefit local residents,” concluded Councillor Anderson.

The new facility will include a multi-sensory suite, an immersive suite, life skills rooms and outdoor spaces to encourage relaxation, exercise and sensory simulation.

Ms Shirelle Stewart, Director of NAS added: “This is an extremely exciting time for the National Autistic Society NI and we were delighted to share our plans for our new autism centre with the council. At the core of the centre will be provision for adults with autism and complex needs who require high levels of support. The centre contains and utilises new technologies which will benefit autistic people and provide support for their families. We have fundraised extensively for this building and are indebted to those who provided the support to enable us to realise our vision, to increase opportunities, reduce social isolation and build a brighter future for autistic people.”