Gaye Alcock, Winner of The Maltings Community Hero March
A St Albans mum who set up a Lego club for children with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome has been crowned this month’s unsung community hero.
Gayeanna Alcock, a mother of two from Coach Mews, has been chosen as winner of The Maltings Community Hero Awards for her volunteering efforts, which saw her establish the weekly Lego play sessions to encourage her nine-year-old son James, a Year 5 pupil at St Alban & St Stephen Junior School, to play with other children.
She said: “The reason I started the club was for my son; I wanted him to feel part of a group, something he could be proud of and own.
“Together we made this happen and he has made some wonderful friends.
“I have also had the opportunity to meet wonderful awesome autism parents, it’s great to chat and enjoy coffee too.”
She was nominated for the award by Steph Curtis, a fellow parent at the school.
Gayeanna extended her thanks to the Fleetville Community Centre where the sessions are held every Saturday and the National Autistic Society who has offered to fund the club so it can purchase more Lego, pop-up tents and sensory kits.
She added that autism specialist David Corcorran, would be running social skills groups at the centre from April 26 and acknowledged the work done by Sarah Hayden, who runs a group for local mums of children with autism and ADHD.
Phil Corrigan, manager of The Maltings, said: “It was wonderful to have such a great response to the first Community Hero Awards.
“It just goes to show how many people are involved in helping others within our local community.
“Our first winner certainly deserves the recognition that this award brings. The Lego club offers an incredible and much needed service to children and young adults with autism in the area.
“Congratulations Gayeanna, very well deserved!”