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Southampton disability sessions helping Jude make friends

10 Jun 2021
We Are One Team SaintsAbility Jude

How one autistic SaintsAbility participant has felt the benefit of being back in action with the Saints Foundation

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on everyone but for those with disabilities it has been especially difficult, with many having to self-isolate and shield from loved ones.

And as the return of outside sport has provided a mental and physical boost to society, that benefit is also being keenly felt by participants on disability programmes run by Premier League clubs, such as at Saints Foundation.

Six-year-old Jude has autism, autistic spectrum disorder and developmental delay and is one of the participants on the Foundation's SaintsAbility initiative.

And dad Tom Richardson says the return of the inclusive sessions has made a big difference to his son's wellbeing.

"It's just really hard to find any extra-curricular activities that will support his needs," Tom told the Foundation's official website. "There's not a lot of extra-curricular stuff available and that's been really hard. Sometimes he can feel a bit socially isolated out of school.

"So this is a brilliant way for him to do something which he loves and just to meet other children as well, who maybe have similar issues.

"It's really nice just to have this at the weekends, outside of school where he can learn a new skill and be with other people."

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