Bridges Partners With National Autistic Society To Support Regions Children

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Bridges in Sunderland has announced the National Autistic Society (NAS) as its annual charity partner for 2010, with money raised by the shopping centre throughout the year going towards helping improve the lives of children and their families in the North East.


At present, over 500,000 people in the UK have autism and together with their families, they make up over 2 million people whose lives are affected by autism every single day.


The NAS is working towards providing children and families in the North East region with the level of help and support they need with much-needed social support groups for both children and parents, as well as a volunteer 'befriending' scheme which relieves parents of some of the pressures looking after a child on the autism spectrum can bring.


To launch its partnership with the NAS the Bridges is supporting the charity's most recent venture, a 'Father's Group' get-together, and with Father's Day fast approaching (Sunday 20th June) the centre is calling upon all dads in the region who care for children on the autism spectrum to get involved to support each other. The group meets at   Brunswick Methodist Church in Newcastle on the first Tuesday of each month at 6.30pm and provides a relaxing and friendly environment for dads to socialise with other dads in similar situations.


Deborah Garland, Autism Resource Centre Manager at the National Autistic Society says: "Autism is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition which has an immense impact on lives. But it simply doesn't get the attention it deserves, which means that people with autism don't get the services and support they need.


"We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Bridges to help us to continue our work in supporting children and family members in the region affected by autism in any capacity."


Sarah King, marketing manager at the Bridges adds: "The Bridges is committed to helping worthwhile regional charities and the North East branch of the National Autistic Society is a deserving charity that is working hard to make a difference to the lives of families affected by autism.


"With Father's Day approaching this weekend, there isn't a better time to call upon all dads who are caring for autistic family members to get involved with the charity's Father's Group. It has proved a great success since its launch earlier in the year and is a great way for dads to socialise with other dads just one evening a month to give them some well-earned 'me' time.


"The Bridges is enthusiastic about getting the fundraising ball rolling and helping children and families across the region get access to the support they need."


The Bridges supports a different regional charity each year and in 2009, supported the Grace House North East Children's Hospice Appeal, which is raising funds to build, support and run a children's hospice catering for children with life limiting and life threatening illnesses and their families.


The centre has also officially supported Tiny Lives, the Anthony Nolan Trust, Macmillan Cancer Relief and raised money for numerous other charities including Little Sisters of the Poor Care Home, The Rainbow Trust, The MS Society and The Children's Foundation.


For more information about how to get involved with the Father's Group or to find out more about the National Autistic Society, please contact either Deborah Garland on or Phil Heslop on






Notes to Editors


The Bridges

  • The Bridges is owned and operated by Land Securities. More information on Land Securities can be found on
  • The Bridges provides 515,000 sq ft (47,845 sq m) of retail space in the heart of Sunderland
  • Over 100 retailers including Debenhams, Tesco, Boots, Next, HMV, H&M, River Island, Monsoon and New Look
  • It attracts more than20 million visitors each year, with a combined catchment of 663,000 people
  • The Bridges has excellent public transport links and 940 parking spaces attached to the centre


Land Securities Group PLC

  • Land Securities is the UK's leading Real Estate Investment Trust with a national portfolio of commercial property. Our investment portfolio also has more than 50 retail parks and shopping centres including Bristol's Cabot Circus and Exeter's quadruple award-winning Princesshay site.
  • Land Securities' multi billion pound development programme is transforming regional city centres including Cardiff and Leeds, key Central London sites and delivering long-term, large-scale regeneration projects in the South East.
  • Half of the Land Securities' portfolio is in London, where it owns landmark buildings such as the Piccadilly Lights and Westminster City Hall, and is developing some of the capital's most innovative mixed-use schemes, such as One New Change in Mid-town and Park House on Oxford Street.