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Halton autism charity launches new Runcorn charity shop
A CHILDREN’S charity is celebrating a milestone achievement.
Halton Autistic Family Support Group (HAFS) has opened a charity shop today at 9-11 High Street, Runcorn.
A family centre and offices will follow in the coming months as the group settles into its new rented home.
They plan to provide games, laptops, table tennis and musical tuition as they extend their activities.
Ciaran Shanahan, the charity’s development manager, said: “It’s great news. We can now control our own destiny.
“Everyone is really excited.
“The shop will help towards the running costs of the centre. We receive no funding from the local authority or health authority. My post is funded by the lottery.”
Dad-of-two Ciaran, aged 60, and his wife, Margie, aged 52, founded the charity 12 years ago, to seek help for their autistic son, Sean, aged 27.
Since then, they have provided information, support and advocacy to hundreds of families, as well as organising day trips, holidays and launching a buddying and outreach service.
The group visited Chester Zoo on Sunday.
Ciaran, of Greenhouse Farm, Runcorn, said: “There are probably 300 children with autism in Halton and as many adults. We have 30 families on our waiting list.
“We empower them with the right information and help them through tribunals and legal procedures.
“The future of these children depends on them having the right level of support at an early age.
“This is the first step of providing better quality services to more families.”
Volunteers have been working round the clock to prepare the charity shop and will be offering a big selection of clothes, books and bric-a-brac at table top prices.
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