A project in Norwich has received a £299,199 cash boost from the UK National Lottery Big Lottery Fund's Reaching Communities program.
Project workers at Asperger East Anglia work tirelessly to help people with Asperger syndrome (AS) find work. The lottery funding will be used to run a program designed to assist young people with AS to explore their full potential and develop useful employment skills.
People who suffer from AS find it very difficult to interact socially and have poor non-verbal communication skills that are coupled with restricted, but repetitive, interests and behavior patterns. AS can result in clumsy behavior and strange and disordered usage of language; so the average AS sufferer often finds it difficult to find work and make their mark in the world.
Thecla Fellas, chief executive of Asperger East Anglia, stated: "This is the best start to 2014 we could have hoped for. Our work is multi-dimensional, supporting people with Asperger syndrome and also educating people about the condition. This Big Lottery Fund grant will go a long way to helping us in this."
The project has free sessions that allow those who suffer from AS to develop their skills. External work experience placements provide further opportunities for skills development that also allow AS sufferers to experience everyday social interaction in the workplace.
The charity hopes their taster workshops in carpentry, furniture restoration, fashion design and other skills will result in salable products that will provide a sufficient income to sustain the project when the lottery funding has run out.