A GROUP of young people hoping to change public perceptions about people with disabilities held a special event to mark Autism Awareness Month in Bournemouth Square.

The Chatterboxes are a group of young disabled people who produce a magazine showcasing what activities are available in the local area for young people with disabilities.

The group, which is run by the YMCA, includes youngsters aged between nine and 11, many of whom have autism.

“They want to change perceptions and send a message out to young people in Bournemouth,” said Poppy Sargeaunt, disability youth volunteer advisor at Bournemouth YMCA.

During the event members of the public were invited to post messages on the tree of hope and take part in a specially designed game called the wheel of autism, which shared facts and information about the condition.

“It went really well and there were lots of laughs,” Miss Sargeaunt said.

“We had the wheel of autism where members of the public spun the wheel and it would land on one of 10 sections.

“Each section had a different category such as causes, communication and celebrities with autism.”

Chatterboxes was launched four years ago and publishes a quarterly magazine for young people with disabilities. Miss Sargeaunt said: “A group of young people set it up.

“They wanted to create an easy-read magazine because all the literature that was given to them was too wordy.”

To find out more about The Chatterboxes contact Poppy by emailing poppy.sargeaunt@ bournemouthymca.org.uk or call 07827 848479.