REDDITCH children and young people with a disability will have more chance to get out and enjoy themselves thanks to the introduction of two Barnardo’s children’s charity activity groups.

Barnardo’s Worcestershire Short Breaks project already runs youth groups which provide a range of leisure activities for disabled young people in Worcestershire and have now set up a further two groups in Redditch thanks to additional central Government Aiming High funding. Barnardo’s received more than £124,000 to expand its youth group service and launch a new ‘I Go 2’ service.

Shane Dennis, 16, from Redditch, who has autism, said: “All my life I’ve been a little bit different. I have an autistic spectrum disorder and was diagnosed with amplified pain syndrome four years ago.

“Barnardo’s youth group has changed my life and has been a fantastic experience. I get to take part in lots of activities like arts and crafts, trips out, bowling, swimming and pool. The activities have given me a more exciting life. The group has boosted my confidence. I now enjoy my life.” The youth groups are for children of all ages. The ‘I Go 2’ service will provide individual support for children and young people aged eight-18 with moderate disabilities to help them access mainstream leisure and recreational activities.

“Workers will accompany the young person to a venue of their choice for up to 16 weeks and provide advice and work alongside staff at the venue until the young person is able to attend on their own. Shane’s mum, Susan, said: “Since Shane has attended the group we’ve seen a dramatic change in him. He is now happy and enthusiastic and looks forward to joining in all the activities. It has made a huge difference to Shane’s life at a time when he needed it most.”

For more details, call Barnardo’s Worcestershire Short Breaks Project on 01905 778275.