Grant boost for charity

The charity relocated to larger premises at Toby House in Earth Balance, near Bedlington.
The charity relocated to larger premises at Toby House in Earth Balance, near Bedlington.

An autism charity has been given a major boost by the Greggs Foundation.

The Toby Henderson Trust has been awarded a grant to cover the rent on its new premises for three years.

It provides support for autistic children aged from two up to adults of 20, as well as their families and carers.

After spending many years at Whitehouse Farm near Morpeth, the trust has relocated to larger premises at Toby House in Earth Balance, near Bedlington.

Founder Lesley Henderson said: “This generous grant from the Greggs Foundation gives us a great platform on which to expand and increase much-needed post diagnostic services as it will have a big impact on securing further funding for service development.”

“The opportunity for increased capacity will double the amount of children we work with in the playrooms – a total of 24 children can rise weekly up to 40.”

The charity was launched in 1999 following her son Toby’s diagnosis when she found there was very little offered for both children on the autism spectrum and their families.

She added that staff members have grown their skill base over the years to a point where “the Toby Henderson Trust team is now the regional specialist in early intervention with autistic children”.

Tracy Lynch, manager of the Greggs Foundation (the North East-based charity that is closely associated with Greggs Plc), said: “It’s fantastic that, through the Greggs Foundation grant scheme, local community projects such as this one can be supported.

“We hope that the new premises will make a positive difference to the lives of the children that benefit from the wonderful services offered by the Toby Henderson Trust.”