An autism charity will be hosting an open event in Dorchester to encourage young people to join its skill building programme.

Autism Unlimited’s Futures programme supports young people aged 18 to 25 with special education needs, teaching them how to grow their confidence, seek employment, and become active members of their communities.

The programme is currently based in Christchurch and is looking to expand across Dorset. Parents and young people are invited to speak to Futures staff and learn more about the programme at the open event on Tuesday, January 23.

Graham Whitehead, Futures Consultant, said: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the programme is life-changing for our learners and their families. Many young people have come to us having struggled in traditional education environments.

“At Futures they flourish both personally and professionally, gaining the confidence to travel independently, to form friendships, socialise and discover talents and fulfilling career pathways.”

Dorset Echo: Futures Programme Publicity

From the initial four members in 2021, the programme now has 28 learners, who are each offered work placements, supported independent living experiences, and taught money management and employability skills.

Mr Whitehead added: “Parents and carers have called Futures incredible and say they never dared imagine their young people would achieve so much.

“We now want to take this success out to a wider audience across Dorset, and we hope young people and their families will come and find out more at our Open Event.”

Futures staff will host parents and young people at Dorset Youth Association on Lubbecke Way, Dorchester on Tuesday, January 23 from 10am to 8pm. Free parking and refreshments will be available.

More information about the programme, including video interviews with learners, can be found on their website: