WIRRAL charity Autism Together has received a £3,000 boost towards its Future 50 appeal.

Essar's Ellesmere Port based refinery donated the cash sum to Autism Together as part of its Let's Give programme.

Two employees at Essar, Matthew Rigby and Jessica Clay nominated the charity, who is celebrating its 50th anniversary celebrations this year, for the donation as both their families have benefitted from the service that Autism Together provides.

Matthew said: "My brother Andrew spent many happy years in the residential care home here at Bromborough.

"He sadly passed away earlier this year, but we still keep links with Autism Together, and this has been a great way of saying thank you for all they did to support him and our family.

"He particularly enjoyed getting ‘hands-on’ in the garden centre, so it’s lovely to come back and visit."

Matthew and Jessica presented a cheque to fundraising manager Rick Myers at the charity's Bromborough Pool Garden Centre.

Jessica, whose brother Jack is a regular at Autism Together’s Raby site, told the Globe: “Jack really enjoys his days at Raby.

"He also spends some time at the residential services, providing the family with some respite care.

"It was great to be able to nominate them through the Let’s Give scheme and I was really pleased to hear that Essar were donating to the charity.”

Autism Together launched its Future 50 appeal earlier this year to raise £2.5 million for a project to rebuild the charity's original residential home Raby Hall and to replace it with a world-leading autism-specific building suitable for up to 12 patients.

Rick Myers said: “We are very grateful to Essar, Jessica and Matthew for the generous donation which will go towards our Future 50 appeal.

"The appeal will help us towards our target of opening a high-tech autism assessment and diagnostic centre based at our original building Old Raby Hall.”

For more information on the Future 50 appeal visit www.autismtogether.co.uk/future50

To donate £5 text NEXT02 £5 to 70070.