BRADFORD Autism Support has been forced to suspend its out-of-school clubs from next month as lottery funding comes to an end.

The group had secured £400,000 from the Big Lottery Fund four years ago to run the sessions held at its base in Caledonia Street.

It is now re-applying for extra lottery cash and is also seeking alternative funding from other sources, said its project manager David Riley.

"We are going to lose the majority of our funding in March and we are trying to replace that," Mr Riley said.

"It's not the fault of anybody, it's just the circumstances we are going through at the moment.

"I am quite confident of renewing the children's services. We will re-introduce those as soon as we can."


Mr Riley said it will find out later this year if its application for further lottery cash had been successful and it was also applying to Children in Need to make up some of the funding.

Annual funding of £28,000 from Bradford Council is unaffected.


The services that are affected are social skills sessions held on Monday and Tuesday night social skills, its Busy Bees play sessions for children aged five to 11, its Thursday night high support group and two sessions held on Saturday mornings.

In an open letter announcing the suspensions of the services Mr Riley wrote: "It is with regret that we are having to suspend the out-of-school clubs we provide due to funding issues.

"We know that this will affect the families who have accessed these groups and it is with the deepest regret that we have to make this decision."

Single parent, Anthony Hall, whose son Dylan, seven, attends the two-hour Busy Bees sessions, said he was dismayed by the news.

Mr Hall, 53, of Mark Close, Idle, said: "I think it's wrong. They are taking it away from the people who need it.

"It's vital. It gives me a bit of respite."

A Bradford Council spokesman confirmed its funding to the group would continue.

"The majority of the funding for this voluntary service is provided by the Big Lottery Fund and is ending," he said.

"Families Information Service can signpost any parents or carers who are concerned to other services that are on offer throughout the district. The contact number is 01274 437500."