Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

LIFE'S LOOKING UP FOR MAIN; Autism Charity's Funds Boost

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

LIFE'S LOOKING UP FOR MAIN; Autism Charity's Funds Boost

Article excerpt

Byline: EMMA GREENHALGH

AN AUTISM charity left fighting for survival at the beginning of the year is now preparing to launch new groups.

The MAIN Project, which has re-branded as MAIN, is also celebrating after making it down to the final three in a national competition.

The charity - which helps hundreds of families across Teesside with children on the autistic spectrum - faced a funding crisis in January.

Bosses were forced to cut more than two thirds of staff - from 18 to five.

But the community and local businesses responded to their rally call for help and have raised around pounds 3,000 in the last five months alone.

Trustee Nigel Carden said: "As trustees, we've had some tough decisions to make over the past few months, but it's great to see MAIN moving forward now with a clear mission and branding that reflects the charity's unique identity."

Although not out of the woods completely, MAIN is doing well and this week is launching a new "out and about" group.

It will be for young people up to the age of 18, and will be held at different community venues across Teesside.

Another new group, starting in July, will be for five to 11-years-olds on the autistic spectrum and their siblings at West Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Trust, in Acklam.

MAIN has also seeking council approval to run extra groups over the summer holidays.

And in September, a mother and toddler group will launch as a support for those diagnosed early.

Clubs still running at Beverley School, in Middlesbrough, have been themed into sensory nights, games night and "all about me" nights.

MAIN has also moved from Grangetown to Stockton after securing free office space at A4E, in Yarm Road, four months ago.

And they have a whole new look, having launched a new website, Facebook and Twitter account.

And Middlesbrough Starbucks staff have pledged their support by helping to prepare MAIN's community allotment in Saltersgill. …

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