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Autism Friendly

Autism Impact Award Gold Champion

Autism NI have awarded Mid and East Antrim Borough Council the prestigious ‘Autism Impact Award’ in recognition of the Council venues going ‘above and beyond’ to create accessible and ‘autism-friendly’ environments.

The Autism Impact Award recognises organisations who excel in creating a more autism friendly environment for their customers.

Through attaining an Impact Award, organisations can confidently open up their facilities and services to the 30,000 individuals and families living with Autism in Northern Ireland that previously may have been excluded. This award equips organisations to better understand any staff and customers who may have Autism and allows them to adapt their organisation’s environment to support this. 

The Impact Award includes staff training and support to implement a range of adjustments to improve accessibility.

Please see below the venues which achieved the Awards:

  • Carrickfergus Ampitheatre
  • Larne Leisure Centre
  • Seven Towers Leisure Centre
  • Carnfunnock Country Park
  • The Gobbins
  • The People’s Park

Pre-visit Guides

These guides will help visitors get ready for their trip. They will tell you how to get to and enter the sites, explain how to find your way around, show you some of the things that you can do when you visit and some will also introduce you to some of the staff who work there.

More guides will be added as they become available and will be updated to match any changes at the various locations.

Carrickfergus Amphitheatre


Larne Leisure Centre


Seven Towers Leisure Centre

Carnfunnock Country Park - Day Visit


Carnfunnock Country Park - Overnight Visit


The Gobbins Visitor Centre & Cliffpath


The People's Park

We are delighted to share news of our ongoing work to make Mid and East Antrim an Autism Friendly place to live, work or visit.  In partnership with Northern Health and Social Care Trust, we have been working to improve the autism accessibility of our services.

  • Autism is lifelong and affects the development of social and communication skills. It can affect the way an individual relates to people, situations and the environment
  • A person with Autism will have difficulty processing everyday sensory information like sight, smell, touch, taste and sounds
  • In Northern Ireland, 1 in 21 children have a diagnosis of autism (Autism NI Statistics)

Through the Autism NI Impact Award programme, a number of staff from Leisure, Parks and Open Spaces and The Gobbins have completed Autism Champion training.  This training has given them a greater understanding of Autism and how by making adaptations, we can better support the Autism community.  Work is well underway to make our leisure centres, visitor attractions and public spaces more inclusive to the additional needs of autistic children and adults.  From a day out to the park, to arranging a swim, theatre visit or guided tour, we want autistic people, their families or carers to experience a welcoming and enjoyable visit.

As part of this, we have committed to becoming a JAM Card Friendly Organisation. This initiative is another positive step in the right direction in our journey to become an Autism Friendly Borough. JAM (Just A Minute) Card was originally developed for those with learning disabilities and difficulties. However, it can be used by anyone with a communication barrier including people with Autism or Asperger’s. It can also be used by those who have a brain injury, dementia and people who may feel self-conscious about their ability to effectively communicate when engaging with others.

JAM Card friendly notice ask people to be patient as the user is autistic.