A CHARITY which supports children with additional needs or disabilities has been labelled an 'inspirational and an asset' to Hexham.

WECAN, a charity which was established in 1996 by the name of TASC, welcomed a team of trustees and other guests to attend an activity session at Chrysalis Centre, Hexham.

WECAN supports youngsters to access local leisure facilities and events while providing critical short break/respite for parents and families.

The charity is governed by a board of trustees and managed by service manager Hayley Armstrong and deputy manager Kirsty Jackson.

Hayley said: "We support service users on a 2:1, 1:1 or group staffing ratio (dependent on their individual needs), to participate in leisure activities of their choice which include (but aren’t limited to) swimming, bowling, sensory experiences, soft play, cinema, arts and crafts, visiting local attractions and attending events."

The session was also attended by the High Sheriff of Northumberland Joanna Riddell and The Mayor of Hexham Derek Kennedy.

Mayor of Hexham Derek Kennedy said: "WECAN is a charity close to my heart as my son Oscar has attended for the last 10 years.

"As ever it was lovely to spend time with all the children. The High Sheriff Joanna Riddell took a real interest in WeCan‘s work and it’s importance to children and parents. The service it provides is so important for the life skills of special needs children and my wife and I are so appreciative of their work. Hexham is so lucky to have such a service.”

High Sheriff of Northumberland Joanna Riddell said: "I was thrilled to visit this charity in Hexham and learn more about the provision they give to children with special needs. We are so fortunate to have such a facility in Northumberland, and it is inspiring to see the impact of friendship, social interaction and opportunity for these children.

"It was wonderful to meet some of the parents to hear their stories and understand just how much WECAN helps by giving them a little breathing space. I am particularly impressed with the relationship between the charity and Queen Elizabeth High School, offering volunteering places and training.’