West Ham United Community Sports Trust has been out in force to support the Newham branch of the National Autistic Society (NAS).

As part of the wide-ranging work the Trust takes on, it hosted a number of football-based training courses and competitions to help the charity to raise funds and awareness.

A free Family Fun Day was held at the Trust's training base in Beckton and, despite the wet weather, there was lots of enthusiasm on show as families and East Ham MP Stephen Timms enjoyed a number of activities, including face-painting, bouncy castles, music and story-telling.

The Trust also provided football skills sessions to young and old, led by qualified coaches, many of whom have become coaches through the Trust's own programmes and courses.

The fun event is an annual date in the diary for the society, held to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the services available to families who are affected by autism.

Moore Than a Football Club

Trust football development officer Bryan Glover Jr said: "West Ham United Community Sports Trust was once again delighted to hold a fun day for the National Autistic Society for the second year running.

"It was a great success and good to see people from across the borough having fun but also supporting a great cause. Our work and partnership with the society doesn't stop there, it will continue with specific courses being run by us in conjunction with the NAS at our community training ground.

"Over the past year we have developed these sessions and, as a community department within the club, looked to continue to deliver provision and opportunities for families to participate in structured sporting activities."

The work and support of West Ham's community trust was praised by NAS Newham branch officer, Sean Hurley, who said: "We have started to turn the corner in raising awareness of autism but can only do this with help. West Ham United Community Sports Trust continues to give us that vital support, allowing us to use their resources and their considerable influence to draw people in.

"It creates much needed chances for families having to deal with autism and the trust is an excellent example for the whole community."

For more information about the National Autistic Society, click here.

Academy membership