Autism Together group at The Open
“For people with autism, the skills they gain [from events like this] are not necessarily practical or hands on, but it makes a big difference.”
Ash Loftus, Activity Manager at Autism Together, explained how important access to events such as The Open can be for those who would not otherwise be able to attend. Autism Together, based in Bromborough, is one of numerous organisations invited to attend The Open using some of the tickets made available to Wirral Council.
The local authority was given access to a limited number of tickets for each day of the golf championship on its return to Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake. The vast majority made available to the council have been shared with local charities and third sector organisations.
It was decided to make them available to local charities to bring people who would not otherwise be able to easily access the event, and tickets have gone to numerous groups and other organisations to help support the council’s work across the borough.
Among those enjoying this access was the group from Autism Together which took six of their service users, aged in their 20s and 30s.The group had been round the course, watching the golf, then ended their day at the Swingzone centre on the Royal Liverpool Golf Course, where people can play golf games and activities.
Autism Together is one of the country’s leading providers of services and support to people with autism and their families and campaigns on behalf of all individuals affected by autism. It is one of the Mayor of Wirral’s two charities for the year.
Ash said many people with autism suffer with social anxiety and being able to attend events such as The Open is “absolutely fantastic for them”. He said with support from Autism Together staff they were able to help them use the experience and added: “The skills they gain are not necessarily practical or hands on, but it makes a big difference.
“For these guys, they have formed a close bond working together at our kiosk in Port Sunlight River Park. Maybe their friends or family aren’t into golf, or can’t afford it, so something like this is absolutely amazing for them.
“It’s a really good example of how different groups and organisations can work together in such a way that everyone wins.”