A community interest company set up to provide an A-Z of practical advice about living with autism is celebrating an award.
Life of Reilly CIC (formerly Alphabetically Autistic) was set up by mums of autistic children Alison Stanley, Christine Stephenson and Kelly Best to help other people touched by autism.
They use drama to challenge people’s perceptions of the disorder and provide a range of workshops and help to families and businesses around the region.
And now they are celebrating after being named the latest North Tyneside Business of the Month winner.
The social enterprise, set up with support from North Tyneside Council’s Business Factory, is preparing for its full theatre stage production and screen play – The Life of Reilly – which will tour the region’s theatres in February before heading to Edinburgh Festival.
The play, founded on the successful blog written by Christine about life with her non-verbal son Reilly, looks at life through the eyes of an autistic adult who goes back through his childhood.
It portrays just what goes on behind closed doors with an autistic child.
Alison said: “We are overwhelmed by the support we have received from The Business Factory, not only in helping us to set up our social enterprise, but the ongoing encouragement they have given us to help us to grow and develop our business.
“To be named Business of the Month at this time means so much to us.”
“We are busy juggling a jam packed diary of workshops and events whilst launching our theatre tour, so recognition like this goes an awful long way to keep us focused on what we are doing and why.”
Karen Westgate, project officer at North Tyneside Council said: “We received some incredible feedback about the work that Alison, Christine and Kelly do and the support they provide for other people, whilst faced with their own challenges.
“We really hope that this award shines a spotlight on all that they do and helps to promote their pending theatre tour and crowdfunding campaign.”
Since its launch in 2016, the company has helped hundreds of parents, grandparents, siblings and all those whose lives are affected by autism to share their experiences.
It has also provided a wide range of support to businesses and employers to help them to understand the challenges faced by people with autism and those of their employees caring for autistic family members.
North Tyneside Council’s Business Factory launched the Business of the Month campaign in 2017 to highlight the quality and variety of the businesses based here in North Tyneside and to provide ongoing support to the borough’s new and existing SMEs.
Any SME in North Tyneside can nominate themselves or somebody they know to be crowned Business of the Month; simply provide a reason for selection and come along to the monthly business coffee morning.
As Business of the Month, The Business Factory will help to promote the chosen company via a range of digital and traditional communication channels – including support from the News Guardian.