Royal Naval families in Helensburgh are overjoyed at the introduction of a new autism workshop supported by Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity funding.

On Wednesday 18 September HMNB Clyde held a Barrie Cooper Autism Workshop at the Braeholm family centre in Helensburgh, helping families who are members of the HMS Neptune Special Needs Support Group.

Photo: Workshop attendees with Barrie Cooper pictured far left

The Workshop was specifically targeted at helping Royal Navy families in the HMNB Clyde area with children who live with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Workshop specifically focused on understanding behaviour and anger management, communication issues, reducing levels of anxiety and understanding emotions.

Transitions, change and uncertain plans are problems that are faced by the majority of Service families; however for individuals and families living with ASD these issues can often bring a multitude of significant behavioural and emotional problems which can impact on well-being, school, home and social lives.  

The workshop was attended by 20 people made up from Royal Navy families, members of Royal Navy and Royal Marines welfare, social and family support workers, Argyll and Bute Council’s Service Pupil Advisor and one member from Helensburgh and Lomond Autism who provide support for Royal Navy Families locally.

No longer dealing with issues alone

"All who attended found the event very beneficial and provided very positive feedback, most commenting specifically on the peer support opportunities," explained David Wynne, Warrant Officer 2 ET(WESM), who applied for the funding.

"They 'no longer feel like they are dealing with their issues alone’," he added.

"How re-assuring it was to hear other family’s stories and experiences... to be able to gain the knowledge and experience of Mr Barrie Cooper was a priceless opportunity and gave all valuable advice, tips and tools to improve life for their children."