A DORSET charity that cares for and supports children and young adults with autism has announced the opening of two new community projects thanks to £90,000 worth of donations.

Both Autism Wessex projects, which were completed against the odds during lockdown, look to encourage individuals to make the most of outdoor spaces and take part in physical activity.

The SMUGA project was created after the teachers at Portfield School identified the need for an area where the students could play sports in a fit-for-purpose environment.

The space offers noise cancelling fences to minimise the risk of loud noises if balls or other equipment hit the sides and a track with two lanes for a student and their support worker to run alongside each other

The Wheels Workshop project helps those with autism to become active in the local community by promoting independence through cycling.

Autism Wessex raised money for new bikes, trikes, maintenance equipment, a bike workshop and Bikeability training, which will be available to the children and young people at Portfield School and its Lifeskills service.

Jemma Dudgeon, Acting Headteacher for Portfield School, said: “The children at the school have an extremely varied curriculum, all of which equips them with crucial life skills, such as food shopping or managing social situations.

“The Wheels Workshop and the SMUGA are two more fantastic additions to Portfield’s offering, and we can’t express in words how much we value the support and generosity from those around us who make these things happen.”

Both projects totalled in excess of £90,000, with donations provided by the local community groups as well as The Postcode Community Trust, Wessex CTC, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Sport England, The Peter Harrison Foundation and The Morrisons Foundation.