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(UK) Darlington: Autism charity expands school places/adds 250 jobs as demand grows

Nov 26, 2020, Northern Echo: Autism charity to create around 250 jobs as demand for services grows Northeast, Darlington A CHARITY supporting autistic people and their families in the North-East is planning to create around 250 jobs over the next 18 months as demand for its services grows. The North East Autism Society (NEAS) currently employs 860 people but needs to recruit for a range of roles, particularly carers and teaching assistants. The charity is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and, in September, it opened a new school and community facility – named The Mackenzie Thorpe Centre – at South Bank, Middlesbrough. The centre was opened in partnership with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, and the first cohort of eight children are now being taught there. That will increase to 15 by Christmas, and 30 by the end of the academic year. In addition, staff based at the Mackenzie Thorpe Centre will be providing support for mainstream schools working with autistic and neurodiverse children. NEAS is also planning to open a new school in the Stockton area, with advanced talks taking place with the borough council. A range of family support services will be also introduced across the Tees Valley. Meanwhile, the Society is extending facilities at Thornhill Park School, in Sunderland, with the number of pupils increasing from 45 to 80 since its opening in March. An extension of the school at the North East Centre For Autism, at Aycliffe, is also ready to be brought into use from January. An increase in supported living across the region has led to a need for more residential care workers, and the charity is also looking to develop additional services in Blyth Valley, Northumberland…. The focus on induction and staff training has intensified ahead of the recruitment drive, so Mr Phillipson said no one should be put off by a lack of previous experience in dealing with


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