SOCOPS

Please jump for Socops, the Lords Mayor of Exeter's charity of the year for 2012/13. The community really needs this charity which aims to provide social opportunities, recreational and educational activities for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and their families.

In 2005 a group of parents who all had children on the Autistic Spectrum decided to set up a social skills youth club for their own children and others in the community. Due to their Autism it was felt that the children were missing out on mainstream clubs and needed a group to call their own.

A committee was formed to set up and oversee the running of the group and in April 2005 SOCOPS was launched. It was initially run once every two weeks at a local church hall in Exeter with just six families. SOCOPS registered as a charity in 2009, it currently runs two weekly youth groups operating within Exeter, works with up to 30 families and is now officially the Lord Mayor of Exeter's Charity of the year 2012/13.

Our objectives are to provide positive experiences to children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and their siblings through a structured programme of activities both in a youth club setting and in the community, in order to boost their self-esteem and confidence, and improve the lives of the families.