A REDDITCH youth organisation has received a staggering £319,749 from the Big Lottery fund to secure the future of a vital project which supports people on the autism spectrum.

The huge cash boost means Your Ideas Youth and Community Project, based in Matchborough, can fund their existing Spectrum Projects for the next five years.

The programme, which has ran for the last eight years, helps to support children and young adults with high-functioning autism in Redditch.

More than 100 young people aged 15-25 use the group each week, to help them overcome social isolation and significant challenges in a safe and supportive environment.

Jordan Cooke, project manager, said: “We are absolutely overjoyed that we can continue our much needed project for another five years.

“We know it makes such a difference to young people on the spectrum and their families.

“Your Ideas largely relies on grant funding to operate. Whilst we are always looking for ways to make our organisation sustainable, this fund allows us to continue our work with over 100 young people a week.

“When a grant runs out its unfortunately not just as simple as getting another grant. For every successful grant we get, we apply for three or four unsuccessfully.

“We have been incredibly fortunate to be supported by Big Lottery for the past 10 years and this funding will continue the club for the next five years.

“Without this fund we would be unable to do so.

“This continued support from Big Lottery is testament to how important and needed this group has been to our members and how hard our staff have worked within the autistic community.”

Funding will help to provide weekly friendship groups that allow young people on the autism spectrum to build a stronger community for themselves.

Young people are individually supported by workers and given help to access volunteering opportunities within the community, as well as sporting activities which help to increase their physical and mental wellbeing.