Nail Guirguis' son David, 37, is autistic. He lives within the North East Autism Society's Thorndale residential home, and attends day services at the Society's Emsworth site.

Following the outbreak of coronavirus, Nail contacted us with the idea of establishing a support fund for the work of the Society in light of increasing demands on charities like ours.

Appealing, Mr Guirguis said: "There's no doubt the current coronavirus situation look set to be long-term and is going to impose additional financial stress. The least we as parents can do is to try to help."

Mr Guirguis reached out following most recent Government guidance regarding social distancing and the necessary, strict, operating constraints now in place across all of our residential care services.

He continued: "My son, David, is cared for and supported by a home called Thorndale provided by North East Autism Society (NEAS). He has been looked after, encouraged to develop and supported extremely well through the various excellent facilities, such as Emsworth.

"NEAS, or any organisation for that matter, is not just a building. The most important and essential element is the staff. As all us parents know, looking after autistic people, or those who have special needs is not a mere job, it is a vocation.

"Had it not been for such dedicated staff, people like me and David would be in a detrimental situation. It is difficult enough, at times, to look after our children. However, the current coronavirus crisis has added huge complications to this vocation. For instance, all activities of integrating into Society must stop: swimming; bowling; going to coffee shops and leisure centres; going to the cinema; shopping; even group outings. 

"The least we could do is to support the staff, who are making huge sacrifices to look after our sons and daughters during this long-term crisis. Please donate to this fund, which will help to ease at least, the financial burden of this difficult period." 

"Nail has donated a whopping £2,200 to his son’s services - Thorndale, Emsworth and No.9 - and he has donated a further £200 to the support fund to get it started. We thank Nail from the bottom of our hearts for the fantastic support he has provided the Society in such uncertain times." 

Should you wish to give to the fund you can click here to do so.