The group provided sessions for autistic adults and those with learning difficulties living in Reading to meet and share their interest in trains whilst enabling accompanying parents/carers the opportunity to socialise.

Three project participants sit around a train set at The Engine Shed

Research from the National Autistic Society shows that people with autism are four times more likely to feel isolated than members of the general public. For autistic adults, their sense of community with peers is particularly fractured as they have far fewer social opportunities than they had when attending school. This project provides a safe space for people to come together and explore different interests and build social connections.

Each quarter there were also separate activities for siblings to explore their own interests and information seminars on themes relevant to autistic adults. The project aimed to provide opportunities for interaction for people who have a learning disability and/or sensory disability and reduce their social or emotional isolation.

I went to the children’s Engine Shed for years and thought it was great when the adult sessions began. This group is less busy than the children’s one, with more people who are my age. I am glad that I can still come to the club and talk about trains with people who like the same things.

Russell Cooper

Project member

Funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery London West