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Funding Boost for Autism Support Group

Published: Wed, 2 Nov 2016
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Members of Helping Hands Autism Support Group, (left to right) Caroline Birch, Angela McDonald and Julie White
Helping hands
An autism support group in East Belfast has received funding from us to help establish an Autism Resource Centre for children affected by the disability.
Helping Hands, based in Ballybeen and Tullycarnet, received £10,000 from our Social Housing Enterprise Awards scheme to train staff and volunteers who will be working at the new centre.
The charity has also been successful in securing separate funding to regenerate and refurbish the existing Millar’s Day Care Centre in Dundonald which has been derelict and unused for a number of years.
Welcoming the social enterprise award, Caroline Birch from the Helping Hands Autism Support Group, said:
“The proposal is to transform this derelict facility into an Autism Resource Centre which will create a hub for young people and families who face the daily challenges from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as well as providing an outlet for local community activity and eventually develop a social economy business.  
“To ensure that the organisation is suitably equipped to deliver the project, we need to build capacity of management committee, staff and volunteers in terms of managing this process and the facility on an ongoing basis.
“The Housing Executive funding means we can train our volunteers in how to apply for funding and manage finances which is essential in building a sustainable social enterprise.”
Paul Carland, our Social Enterprise Liaison Manager, said:
“We are delighted to support this social enterprise which will make a positive difference to the lives of children and their families who are affected by autism not just in east Belfast but across Northern Ireland.”
You can read more about our Social Housing Enterprise programme