Mark Reckless, UKIP’s Parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood, yesterday visited Medway MAGIC. The “Medway Autism Group and Information Centre”, based in Cliffe Woods, is a charitable, non-profit organisation which relies on donations, sponsorship, and funding from the local council. After a brief introduction to the staff and volunteers Mark was given a guided tour of the centre by Gayna Simmonds, the CEO of MAGIC. Gayna, who has two autistic children herself, spoke passionately about the need for continued support from the government.
Having visited MAGIC at its previous base In Rochester in 2011, Mark was pleased to see the continued development and improvement of the services offered to children. Mark believes firmly in the importance of looking after the most vulnerable in society and securing support for good causes, while also championing exceptional local projects. The enthusiasm and dedication that was evident from speaking to the full-time staff and volunteers was especially encouraging for Mark, who has campaigned for a charter to improve mental health services for children with autism.
MAGIC plays an important role as a haven for children who cannot cope in mainstream education, and offers respite care for parents and carers alike. The organisation is currently in the process of raising funds in an attempt to buy the building they currently occupy at auction, which would allow them to focus on the long term development of their facilities.
Mark Reckless said:
“I continue to be impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of Gayna and her team of volunteers at Medway MAGIC.
Having a child with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autistic Syndrome (ASD) can be challenging in terms of finding the right help and advice. Medway has, on average, double the normal level of autistic children, and has therefore a pressing need for a successful and well managed programme to assist in the development, support, and education of autistic children. Both the size of the centre, the breadth of the facilities available, and the general ethos were very impressive and encouraging for the future of the charity.
Medway MAGIC has done a great job in raising awareness of the issues surrounding children with Autism and I am proud to offer my continued support.”