New Asperger’s group sets up in Peterhead

Buchanhaven Heritage Centre is the venue for the meetings which run every Tuesday til the end of March
Buchanhaven Heritage Centre is the venue for the meetings which run every Tuesday til the end of March

Teenagers with Asperger’s are being invited to join a new youth group which has been set up in Peterhead.

Grampian Autistic Society (GAS), which is based in Aberdeen, will run the group every Tuesday until March 26, and it is hoped that will provide teenagers aged from 13 to 18 with a valuable and enjoyable experience.

The group is for those with Asperger Syndrome or high functioning Autism and has been set up after a successful trial at Buchanhaven School last year.

Three months’ funding was provided by Aberdeenshire Council, enabling the group to get established, and depending on numbers and interest in the group, it is hoped that it can continue for a longer period if further funding can be sourced.

GAS general manager, Brian Walsh, told the Buchanie: “We were delighted to secure short-term funding to establish the youth group in the town.

“Meeting with social workers we were aware that there was a lack of provision in general in Aberdeenshire for teenagers with Asperger’s or high functioning autism and so we decided to apply to the council for funding.

“The group, which meets at Buchanhaven Heritage Centre each Tuesday, gives teenagers the opportunity to socialise outwith formal organisations, and they can attend at any point from 5.30pm to 8.30pm - they don’t have to stay the full three hours.

“We have run three sessions so far and it’s been pretty quiet, but we are hoping that once the school break is over we will get more attendees,” he said.

Funding is now being sought for the longer-term so that the group can become established in the area.

“After March we will have to get more funding and if we can prove there is an identified need for this group in Peterhead, then that will make this easier.

“So we really need this group to be a success.

“It’s not only open to teenagers in Peterhead - we would welcome those from throughout the Buchan area.

“We’re also looking for feedback from the group, again to help us make the case for a longer-term set-up,” said Brian.

“If anyone has any ideas on funding, or can help us ensure the group keeps running, then we would love to hear from them,” he added.

If you would like to know more about the new youth group, or can help with funding, then please contact Grampian Autistic Society on 01224 277900.