Autism project gets cash boost

Friends Action North East
Friends Action North East

A mentoring project that supports adults with autism and learning disabilities in the north east is celebrating after picking up a £20,000 grant.

Friends Action North East (FANE) was given the cash by the Garfield Weston Foundation so that it can continue running its one-to-one mentoring programme, which helps people build friendships and social relationships.

The charity has also developed an online system called North East Access Rating (NEAR), which allows people to review accessible venues across the region.

Project leader Sara Gibbeson said: “People face many personal barriers when meeting people and making friendships – finding accessible venues is one of them – so we have developed the online rating system and guide, similar to Trip Advisor.

“We encourage people to rate and review venues across the region to review their accessibility, with the aim being to champion social inclusion within the north east.”

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, charitable, grant-making trust that supports a wide range of activities.

FANE also recently picked up grants from The Joseph Strong Frazer Trust, The Greggs Foundation and the R.W. Mann Trust.

Sara added: “We are delighted to receive these grants as they will allow us to support more people on our mentoring project to learn skills such as understanding the difference between good and bad friendships, personal safety when going out and keeping safe when using digital tools.”