Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Autistic surfing event to expand

Surf lesson (Pic: Lifeworks)
The surf days have been taking place at Bigbury-on-Sea

A Devon surfing event for children with autism has proved so popular it is to expand to other places in the UK.

The Totnes-based charity Lifeworks helps children with special needs to get involved in outdoor sporting activities.

Its surf days at Bigbury-On-Sea are currently the only events of their kind run in the country, says the charity.

Organisers are now planning extra summer surf days elsewhere in Devon and in Dorset and Kent.

There are so few things out there for children on the autistic spectrum
Diane Werker

Elizabeth Leader from Lifeworks said: "These are children who need opportunities to get outdoors, to be healthy, have fun and get into whatever sport they want to do, so we are trying to work with surf schools around the country."

Diane Werker and her autistic daughter Saskia attended the two surf days at Bigbury.

Mrs Werker said: "She loved it and her brother loved it.

"It was a wonderful experience for the whole family. There are so few things out there for children on the autistic spectrum.

"It was really wonderful to be able to take part in it."

Lifeworks is keen for surf schools to start training instructors so parents can take autistic children for lessons throughout the summer.



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