Carrickfergus Rotarians learn about SOLAS

Carrickfergus Rotary Club President Colin de Fleury congratulates Dr Joan Henderson, founder of SOLAS on the success of her organization in supporting young people in the community with special needs.
Carrickfergus Rotary Club President Colin de Fleury congratulates Dr Joan Henderson, founder of SOLAS on the success of her organization in supporting young people in the community with special needs.

Carrickfergus Rotary Club President Colin de Fleury welcomed Dr Joan Henderson of SOLAS as guest speaker to the latest meeting of the Club.

SOLAS is a registered charity which Dr Henderson established in 2009 to provide practical support for children and young people aged two to 18 with autism and other special needs.

Dr Henderson explained to members how SOLAS programmes focus on social development, educational development and support for parents. The charity, based on the Ormeau Road, is managed by a board of directors and has a large number of volunteers, mainly retired teachers, who help deliver

its programmes.

These include an after school programme; separate Youth programmes for 12-14 year-olds and 14 to 18 year olds three nights per week, plus an annual two night residential; a four week summer scheme in four different locations; and, SOLAS also operates in schools providing individualsupport in literacy and social development. Currently it is developing a new programme for the 18-plus age group which is designed to develop workplace skills.

Rotarian Colin McCarthy congratulated Dr Henderson on her enterprise, her insight into the needs of those on the autistic spectrum and with other social and learning difficulties and her passion for providing very practical support for them and their families.

He commended both her and the volunteers at SOLAS for their valuable work in the community.