A Malvern charity has been given a £5,000 cash boost from one of Britain’s biggest supermarkets.

Aurum Specialist Autism Support is one of 60 charities and community projects around the country benefiting from a campaign by Tesco to bring positivity to communities.

Working with Heart and Smooth radio stations, the focus was on charities and groups who provide food and support young people, including school breakfast clubs, local food banks, or charities supporting young people to manage mental health.

Aurum, which was founded in September 2021, provides a safe, supportive and professionally led space for autistic people to be their authentic selves.

It is a community service, led by autistic people and specialist autism professionals who have initially focused on creating a package of support for autistic women and girls and their families in Worcestershire.

Dr Natalie Bell, chairman of Aurum, said: “The Tesco grant funding will help us reduce social isolation for autistic women and girls through providing activity-based support sessions.

Specialist support for women with autism

“Autistic women and girls have typically been overlooked in terms of provision of specialist support as most support is still, unfortunately, developed based on the strengths and needs of males.

“This support is therefore inappropriate for many autistic women and girls, and many feel unable to engage. This can result in isolation, increased anxiety and a failure to achieve their personal, academic, and social potential.

“Our project aims to meet these needs and the generous grant from Tesco will enable us to continue to run our groups for autistic women and girls as well as providing various activities for group members, in turn, aiding their well-being and confidence, and increasing their engagement in the broader community.”

The supermarket’s campaign ran in addition to Tesco Community Grants, the in-store scheme where customers vote with blue tokens for community projects and groups.

Claire de Silva, head of community at Tesco, said: “We wanted to reward fantastic groups who make such a difference to young people and families in their local communities.

“We’re really proud of this campaign and pleased to be able to support the tireless work of charities such as Aurum.”