The Sutton branch of the National Autistic Society launched a Lego Club for local autistic children and their siblings last September. Fundraising Officer and volunteer of the branch, Isabel Stirrat, came up with the idea, as parents were having difficulties finding an activity that suited their children. The club runs every month on a Sunday at the United Reformed Church in Wallington, and we have recently launched a similar club for teenagers.
Isabel Stirrat said, “Lego is perfect because it is structured, systematic and always predictable. Children were having a fantastic time, building together, chatting away and comparing models in the gallery. Parents got a chance to relax too by having a cup of tea and talking in a relaxed environment. This might not sound like a big deal but for parents of autistic children it’s not something which happens often and having the support of people who have had similar experiences can make a real difference.”
Rachael Phillips, Co-chair of the Sutton branch added: “Having an autistic child can be a very isolating thing. In a time when parents of autistic children are facing more and more cuts in their support, we are really pleased with the success of our monthly Lego Club. This is a safe space for like-minded kids and their families to come together, do something that they love and build new friendships.”
One of the autistic children said: “I love Lego Club because I like to meet new people and I like to see that I’m not the only one with autism. I really like Lego because it can get your mind running and your imagination flowing.”