Popular internet cafe re-launches in Portsmouth UK

 

Portsmouth, England – An internet café for young people with autism has reopened this September after scooping a lottery grant worth almost £10,000.

The charity Portsmouth Autism Support Network (PASN) obtained the cash so that it could move its Autinet computer sessions to a new facility after the previous venue became cramped.

“The level of demand meant we didn’t have enough space, and occasionally we had to have waiting lists,” explained Natasha Haji, Fundraising and Events coordinator for PASN.

Receiving the grant has meant that Autinet had its grand opening at its new location at the ‘Pompey in the Community Centre’ on Wednesday 9th September.

“We had a bit of a launch, the mayor was there, a few other guests from other charities as well as new parents and kids. It was a really good event – really nice,” said Natasha.

Now Autinet members have the use of a room with thirty computers, and there is the option of using at least one more room if the group continues to grow.

According to Natasha, the new location has gone down very well with the young people: “It’s got Mac computers. The kids love it – it’s brilliant!”

Autinet gives youngsters more than a chance to hone computer skills and play games – it also gives them an opportunity to socialise and gain valuable money-related skills by running a refreshments shop.

The sessions are supervised jointly by staff at the community centre and volunteers from PASN. It is one of several regular events run by the charity for autistic youngsters – for whom loneliness and social isolation can be major issues.

PASN was started by a group of parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders to help other parents access information following a diagnosis.

It is now run by a board of trustees and provides practical support, information and advice for children and young people and their families and carers in Portsmouth and the surrounding area.

profilephotolindsayacland

Contributed by Lindsay Acland 

Lindsay Acland grew up with an autistic sibling. She has a degree from Durham University and is a freelance journalist and aspiring author living by the UK’s south coast.

Top Stories and Breaking News

Researchers hope to revolutionize autism diagnosis through Autism & Beyond app

New York — A team of researchers from Duke are hoping to revolutionize how autism is diagnosed in young children through an iPhone app called ‘Autism & Beyond’. The researchers are working closely with Apple in hopes of improving how autism is diagnosed in children today. Due to the surge of the number of children […]

Autism book nominated for Samuel Johnson Prize

London — Steve Silberman’s “Neurotribes”, a book that explores autism, has been nominated for a Samuel Johnson Prize.  Autism Daily Newscast book review can be read here. The Samuel Johnson Prize is the leading literary award-giving body in the U.K. It recognizes non-fiction books written in the English language, and has been named after essayist […]

Children with autism in minorities face more hurdles than their peers

Rochester, N.Y. — Families caring for children with autism in minorities face more hurdles than other families who are going through the same challenges. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that children of minorities often get a diagnosis much later than their Caucasian peers. According to the center, children of color are […]