Parents stress importance of autism and learning disability clinic hosted at centre
A community initiative which operates from the Jurby Community Centre is hoping to provide parents of children with autism and learning disabilities the opportunity to meet others facing similar challenges.
The bi-monthly event called 'ACE' brings parents, children and professionals together in one place and provides an arena where questions can be asked and support can be accessed.
The centre itself is home to a vast array of events and community-based initiatives.
However given the charity is funded solely by donations and grants parents have raised concerns over a lack of provision on the Island if the initiative didn't exist.
They've questioned what alternative support would be available.
Christian Jones went to ACE to find out more:
Kim is another mother with a son who has recently diagnosed autism:
According to the Jurby Community Centre's five-year reflection it's seen prices of various things become prohibitive for the financial viability of running a particular event elsewhere.
For example, some years ago, Jurby School hosted a badminton session with 50p entrance fee.
Due to a lettings fee the club had to close down - which the Community Centre argues is shifting the cost elsewhere by means of social isolation and reduced physical and mental wellbeing.
So back to the ACE initiative - if this event wasn't able to go ahead who would parents turn to?
ACE invites professionals and experts to give talks and offer advice.
Catherine Halligan is a Children with Additional Needs Co-ordinator for Manx Care - she attended the most recent meeting which took place yesterday (15 March):
Angela and Yasmine are two co-ordinators who help run the centre.
Angela says what they're doing isn't magic:
The centre is run with money received from grants and donations and there appears to be little in the way of financial stability for the future which would enable organisers to plan ahead.
So is this something that could change?
Gary Lord is Manx Care's wellbeing partnership lead for the north of the Island:
You can find more information about the Jurby Community Centre - and the 'ACE' group - HERE.