02:25PM, Wednesday 12 April 2017
Community support has helped an autism charity secure nearly £50,000 in funding from The People’s Project.
Stand Out For Autism (SOFA) appeared on ITV on Monday, March 20 as one of five good causes which could win a share of the cash in a public vote.
The scheme is a partnership between The National Lottery and ITV giving the public a say in where the funding goes.
The charity's founder Holly Clarke, from Maidenhead, found out it had secured enough votes to be awarded £46,060 on Tuesday, April 4.
But she had to wait to until Thursday to tell anyone once it had been announced on the ITV evening news.
The channel filmed Holly and supporters of the charity at the Maidenhead United FC ground in York Road.
Holly started the charity about three years ago, after her son Harry was diagnosed with autism.
The campaign was led by colleague Shani Smith, and Holly said: “We were both over the moon and in shock.
“We worked solidly for two weeks and it was just amazing how well our community supported us.”
The charity already runs an autism friendly football school for under 16s at Maidenhead United and plans for how to use the money include a youth club and drama group for adults and children.
Next up for the charity is a free autism group to get advice and information on April 22 at Desborough College and an Arsenal Legends charity match at York Road on April 30.
Tickets cost £5 for adults and are free for under 12s.
Visit www.standoutforautism.com for details.
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