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Positive change created from spare pennies

14 August 2023


An organisation which supports children and adults with autism and complex needs is among those nominated to receive help from Teesside University.

Angela Wood, Student Futures, with Heather Whyman, MAIN
Angela Wood, Student Futures, with Heather Whyman, MAIN

MAIN is among charities and organisations benefiting from the University’s Be the Change workplace giving scheme, designed to support community groups which make a difference to people’s lives across the Tees Valley.

MAIN, which initially set up in Middlesbrough in 2002 to provide an after-school club for local children with autism, has since developed to provide services for children and adults with a range of disabilities across the region, helping to equip them with the skills they need to live an independent life.

Heather Whyman, Chief Executive Officer of MAIN, said: “We support children from the age of five into adulthood with autism, learning disabilities and complex needs. Any donation which we receive is greatly appreciated; the financial support, along with the interns and volunteer support we receive from Teesside University, is invaluable.

“We have used this donation to purchase sensory toys to add to our sensory room. They have already proved to be really popular with the children who use the centre, as they can take the toys from room to room.

“We continue to develop our centre in North Ormesby and constantly aim to expand support so that we can offer more to children and their families.”

Angela Wood, Volunteering & Work Experience Officer with the University’s Student Futures team, nominated the organisation for support through Be The Change.

Angela said: “We have had some of our international advanced practice master’s students spending their internships with MAIN, from courses such fine art, psychology and accounting and finance and also have students who have offered volunteering support, working with the children through Volun-tees.

“MAIN does a brilliant job and I felt they were deserving of our support, in any way that we could offer it. It is a lovely opportunity to give something back.”

University colleagues can sign up to donate the pennies from their monthly salary, with contributions used to provide grants to nominated organisations. Staff who sign up for Be the Change can nominate organisations for grant support.

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