BIRKENHEAD'S state-of-the-art youth hub The Hive has been awarded 'Autism Champion' status after their dedication to provide autism friendly services.

Autism Together awarded the hub with the status in recognition of their commitment to providing autism friendly services and ensuring youth workers and management are fully trained in autism awareness.

As a result of training, youth workers at The Hive can now recognise people who are on the autistic spectrum and can ensure sessions at the Youth Zone are fully inclusive and autism friendly.

The Autism Champion scheme is designed to help tackle this issue by encouraging organisations and facilities to become more autism aware.

The Hive's chief executive Stuart Barnes said: “The Hive Youth Zone is one of the major providers of activities and support services to young people in the region with more than 6,500 members, a significant number of whom have autism.

"Every single member is unique and special and we continually strive to ensure each one has the best possible experience.

“Achieving the Autism Champion status has equipped us with new skills and knowledge and recognises our commitment to ensuring that there are no barriers to any young person gaining maximum enjoyment and benefit from our work, alongside their peers.”

According to Autism Together, there are around 1 in 100 people in the UK with autism.

Head of Autism Training & Advisory Service at Autism Together Yvonne Crowhurst said: “We are thrilled at being able to play a part in developing the autistic awareness skills of the The Hive’s team, in this latest pioneering initiative at the Youth Zone, which is now part of the Autism Champions network.

"This ensures that those on the autistic spectrum can feel accepted, welcomed and better understood when accessing this innovative community facility which promises so much for all the youth of the area and not just those with additional needs.

"We are grateful to The Hive for the opportunity to work with them and wish them continued success.”

For more information on the Autism Champion scheme visit