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On location at Cotswold Farm Park with BBC Radio Gloucestershire


Autism Awareness Week 

THIS week is Autism Awareness Week (April 1-7) and one mum is taking steps to make sure that businesses and visitor attractions sit up and take notice.

Cirencester resident Vic Buchalik, whose eight year old son Jimmy has autism, has set up an online community at, where attractions are reviewed and visitors with additional needs are given information to make their day out that bit easier.

The National Autistic Society states that the condition is “much more common than many people think”, with about 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK – more than 1 in 100.

Sensitive Santa sessions at Dobbies Garden Centre

AN ONLINE community which supports families with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) has joined forces with a local garden centre this Christmas to produce an inclusive Santa’s Grotto.

Hard Day Out “Made Easy” have been working with Dobbies Garden Centre in Cirencester to put on ‘Sensitive Santa’ sessions throughout December to give an opportunity for children with additional needs to meet Santa within the parameters of a “relaxed environment”.

The group provided resources and ideas for the “Sensitive Santa” sessions.


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Mum of six-year-old autistic boy calls for changes at Cotswold schools to help pupils with special needs

A MUM with an autistic son has called for changes at Cotswold schools to help pupils with certain special needs cope better.

The National Autistic Society has encouraged parents of children with autism to get in touch with their parliamentary candidates to get their views on the issue.

Vicki Buchalik arranged a meeting at Watermoor Primary School in Cirencester, where her six-year-old son Jimmy is a pupil, with Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew Gant last week.

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