A CHELMSLEY Wood woman is encouraging local people to follow in her footsteps and be a friend to someone affected by autism.
Pat Hand has supported a Coleshill family for the past three years and said that is has been an immensely rewarding experience.
Pat regularly meets up with Sharon Rice and her son Joseph - who is autistic.
But the National Autistic Society is looking for more kind-hearted volunteers to support people who have been affected by the condition.
Volunteers do not need to know much about autism, rather they need to be people who are open-minded and willing to learn.
The society is urging people to consider whether they could take part in the scheme. A small amount of time can make a huge difference.
Pat said: “I got involved with the NAS Befriending Scheme because I have a grandson with autism and I realised there is little or no support available for parents or carers to have a break of any type.
“Often they are on their own with their child for 24 hours, seven days a week. I can see how Sharon and Joseph benefit from my visits and it makes me feel good to give something back.”
If you would be interested in joining the befriending scheme, then the first in a series of training sessions begins in the borough tomorrow (Saturday).
To find out more about volunteering, call Margaret Cholewinska on 07917 266341 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.