A CLUB for children with autism is trying to raise awareness of the condition.

Everest Autism Club opened in October 2011 for families with children on the autistic spectrum, as well as those with ADHD.

It runs every Sunday from 11am to 1pm at Everest Sports Hall, in Oxford Way, Popley, Basingstoke, offering activities for children along with support for parents, at a cost of just £2.

Lorraine Stonehouse, club secretary, has an eight-year-old son with Asperger syndrome, and she said that before the Everest club opened, there was little support in the area for families.

The mother-of-two, from Merton Rise, said that as a family, they felt “out of place”, and added: “People look at you when your child has meltdowns.”

She said that the club now has more than 30 members who visit each week.

She added: “It gives them access to activities that they wouldn’t normally be able to access because of social difficulties.

“It’s often difficult to take them to the local playground or join in with sports clubs because of social difficulties.”

Her husband Peter, the treasurer of the club, said: “It gives a lot of emotional support to the parents and links to other areas where you can get help.”