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Whitcoulls Support Autism NZ


Media Release
31 May 2011

Whitcoulls Support Autism NZ

Autism New Zealand’s Annual Appeal Week has received a huge boost from Whitcoulls with each of their 63 stores nationwide taking part in a campaign called ‘Give a Dollar, Change a Life’. Customers visiting the stores during the Annual Appeal Week from 1-7 June will be given the chance to add a dollar to their purchase with the money raised going to support the work that Autism New Zealand is doing in the community.

Alison Molloy, Chief Executive of Autism New Zealand, said “It is wonderful to receive this kind of support from an iconic Kiwi retailer and we encourage everyone to buy a book during the first week in June! This year has seen a new surge in community spirit following the devastating earthquake in Christchurch and it is heartening to see Whitcoulls demonstrating this spirit with their support for the 1 in 100 Kiwi’s affected by autism and Aspergers Syndrome.”

Catherine Collins, Marketing Manager for Whitcoulls, said “We are delighted to be able to support such a worthy cause and we will be displaying posters in our stores throughout the week so that customers know that we are supporting Autism NZ Appeal Week. We encourage them to show their support too by saying yes when staff ask them if they would like to add a dollar for Autism NZ.”

Volunteers from Autism New Zealand branches will also be out collecting in major cities and towns seeking donations. “We are very visible in our yellow bibs and white buckets and welcome the chance to talk to people who have experience of autism in their families,” said Ms Molloy. “This year we will not be collecting in Christchurch which has been very generous in previous years but we are sure that the rest of the country will give us their support.”

Autism New Zealand provides support, resources, education and information to people with autism, their family, caregivers and professionals working with them. With sixteen branches around the country (many run by volunteer committees), each branch offers various levels of support, including holiday programmes, music therapy, social skills programmes, coffee mornings, regular meetings and pre-school support.

The word "autism" covers an incredible range of people. That's in part because autism is actually a spectrum disorder. Many people with ASD have difficulty with social relations, can become anxious about changes in routines and have challenging or difficult behaviours. They can be non verbal, unable to ready body language or facial expressions, repeat words and phrases without understanding and be withdrawn and unresponsive.

Autism Spectrum Disorders are ‘life-long’ and although there is no cure, with support and understanding, people on the spectrum who ‘think differently’ can lead fulfilling, rewarding lives.

For further information and support contact Autism New Zealand Inc Ph 0800 AUTISM (0800 288 476) or visit www.autismnz.org.nz

Ends

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