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SAAS Nominated For An Award

09:40 - 02 July 2008 While most people with autism find it difficult to make friends, James Meakin and William Wong organise trips out for all their pals. The pair both have the behavioral condition, Asperger Syndrome, which affects the way they communicate and relate to others. But as members of the management team which runs the Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society, treasurer James, aged 21, and secretary, William, aged 32, have overcome their difficulties to lead groups of 20 fellow sufferers on trips to the theatre or 10-pin bowling. Their efforts to build SAAS into a thriving support network with more than 100 members has earned them a nomination for The Sentinel Our Heroes award. It is because of their efforts on the management committee, and the hard work of the group's fund-raising committee, which has earned SAAS a nomination for community group of the year. Group founder Kevin Healey, of Newcastle, said: "They do a fantastic job helping and supporting autistic adults in the community, such as taking them to the theatre, bowling, cinema, Alton Towers and the seaside. "James and William live with the condition themselves and so far SAAS has over 100 autistic members who are all over 18, some with moderate Asperger Syndrome and some who are severely autistic, without any communication skills. "Only a few weeks ago, SAAS took a group of 20 to the theatre to see Joseph. Because some of our members don't get accepted in today's society, I can honestly say how moving this was for me to see people with autism really enjoying themselves and having so much fun." The leadership team and fund-raisers behind SAAS were nominated for an Our Heroes award last year, for their efforts in setting the group up. This year they have been nominated for their efforts to improve the lives of adults with autism.

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