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The event was attended by past and current members and their families, staff and organisers, volunteers and other supporters of the youth club. The Mayor of Harrogate, Cllr Stuart Martin MBE, and the Mayoress were the guests of honor. The mayor chatted extensively with the young members, past and present, before cutting the celebration cake and expressing his admiration for the members and congratulating all those involved in the organisation and running of the club. Particular thanks were extended to Danielle Mulholland of Harrogate Borough Council who has run the club for the last ten years on behalf of the Harrogate Branch of the NAS who fund the club through donations. The commitment to the Club of the current youth workers; Sam Thompson and Donna Corr and volunteers; Patrick McKeown , Mary Hullah and Hannah Carter was also acknowledged.
Members and guests had the opportunity to peruse a collection of photos and stories from past youth club activities and members and enjoy a buffet prepared by the local branch.
‘When we set up the club 10 years ago, we had no idea whether young people would come, whether they’d enjoy it or whether it would help their confidence and self-esteem. Seeing our past and present members tonight clearly demonstrates that with the right support, young people can achieve great things and that Autism, should never be seen as a barrier to this’. Danielle Mulholland
Springboard Youth Club was set up by the Harrogate Branch of the for young people with autism between 11 and 18 years who attend mainstream education but find accessing mainstream out-of-school activities difficult or impossible. The aim is to provide a safe and relaxed environment, a place to meet and be with peers without the pressure to conform, and to provide opportunities for independence. Attending the Youth Club provides space for both the family and the young person with autism, and acts as a stepping-stone to more mainstream activities by promoting independence, social skills and confidence.
The Youth Club meets weekly, on a Wednesday evening, during term time and can accommodate up to 20 young people. If you know of someone who would be interested in attending the club or you would like to support the club through volunteering or donations please contact Danielle.Mulholland@harrogate.gov.uk /01423 862702 or 07525088145
The NAS Harrogate & District branch is a volunteer led branch of the National Autistic Society (www.autism.org.uk) organising and taking part in fundraising and campaigning activities and running family support and information services in the Harrogate, Craven, Hambleton, Richmondshire districts. The branch receives no external funding and is funded by donations and fundraising activities,