A NEW service offering help to parents and carers of individuals on the Autistic Spectrum living in the Staffordshire Moorlands is to open in Leek.
Lifeworks Staffordshire is a registered charity supporting people from the age of 14 plus.
Based in Wolstanton, the charity was established in 2006, and since this time has been inundated by families needing support, many of whom reside in the Leek and Moorlands areas.
Lifeworks is headed by its founder Louise Zandian, who and is supported by a band of volunteers.
Autistic Spectrum conditions are complex and often include co-occurring conditions such as Tourettes Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyspraxia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Not everyone is able to make it to the Lifeworks base in Wolstanton and so the charity has taken steps to make itself more accessible by providing a parent/carer drop in which will be held monthly in the @21 office, Market Street, Leek.
The sessions will be facilitated by two local women, Joan Blackhurst of Leek and Judy Gregg of Upper Hulme.
Joan, a trustee and volunteer of Lifeworks is a published author on the subject of Autism and The Law.
She has also recently been appointed to the position of Children’s Officer at the North Staffs Asperger/Autism Association (NSAAA).
Judy is a committee member and volunteer at Lifeworks and is also vice chairman of the Governing Body for the Leek Federation of schools. Over the last 10 years she has supported many families throughout the area in her volunteer role with Home Start.
Joan said: "Both Judy and myself are looking forward to providing a friendly, caring and informal drop-in session where parents and carers can come together to discuss any worries and anxieties over a cup of tea or coffee.
"Often, a problem shared is a problem halved and everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome."
The valuable work undertaken by the charity has recently been acknowledged with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services award.
The award was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Stafford Ian Dudson in the presence of Newcastle under Lyme mayor Eddie Boden.
The first session will be held on the first Thursday of the month starting on November 7, between 10.30am and noon.