Gatwick Airport celebrated World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday (April 4).
Staff from across the airport came together, including police, firefighters and immigration officers, to show their support.
More than 30 families attended the event, designed to give children and adults with autism and their carers and families an overview of airport processes before they travel.
Maria Cook, Gatwick’s autism ambassador, said: “I am so proud to be Gatwick’s autism ambassador and to play a part in the airport’s Hidden Disability Assistance Programme and official autism friendly accreditation.
“I hope to see other UK airports follow Gatwick’s lead and establish official autism-friendly programmes of their own.
“The number of people in organisations across the airport who have volunteered their free time to be part of the awareness day has been overwhelming, from those working for airlines and security, to the emergency services, special assistance and terminal teams.
“Across the board everyone involved wants to pro-actively improve their provision for people with autism.
“It has been a mammoth team effort behind the scenes to make this day happen and I would like to thank everyone involved.”
Travelling through an airport can be a challenge for people affected by autism and the event held in the North Terminal allowed families to ‘check in’, ride on assistance buggies, meet trained security dogs and the police, watch the x-ray machines in action and talk with staff about travelling with autism.
Anyone who requires assistance when travelling through Gatwick is encouraged to contact the airport’s special assistance team or their airline.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.