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The Amazing Journey With a Happy Ending for Autism Guernsey

A new children’s book, written by locals Jon Ozanne and illustrated by Trudie Shannon, has been published this July in aid of Autism Guernsey.

The book, The Amazing Journey: Puffin Explores Guernsey by Bus, is an entertaining training guide explaining how buses can give young people a sense of self-reliance and more enjoyment of Guernsey.

The tale, which follows a young puffin who sets out on the bus to go on an adventure around the island, is on sale now and can be purchased from the bus kiosk. Money from each sale will be donated to the local autism charity.

Mr Ozanne, a member of the CT Plus marketing team states the book is part of an initiative that the bus company has created to support young peoples’ independence in travel, work and life’s journey.

Members of the CT Plus staff go into schools and youth clubs across the island to lead these travel training classes, ensuring that all youngsters are informed and confident in travelling by bus.

Mr Ozanne, Public Relations and Marketing officer at CT Plus, says of the book: ‘It is great to have a character who experiences their first independent travelling, supported along the way by his family. The images are exactly how I imaged the puffin on his adventures.’

The idea for the book came about following a request made by youngsters attending Autism Guernsey’s Amazing Club. The teenagers wanted to know more about catching the bus to and from the club, as this can be a particularly daunting prospect for those on the autistic spectrum. CT Plus has worked closely with the club to help them overcome their concerns.

The Amazing Club is a weekly club for young people aged 11 to 18 with autism; it is the hope that those attending the club will gain greater confidence in social situations. It is this kind of independent travel which can lead to the young people being less socially isolated and building their self-esteem.

Autism Guernsey provides support and assistance to islanders living life on the autistic spectrum, through a range of clubs, drop-in sessions and support workers. Catering to all age groups the charity aims to help those on the spectrum lead full, positive and inclusive lives.

Julia Watts, the Manager of Autism Guernsey, comments: ‘Autism Guernsey receives no statutory financial backing, we rely on the support of the island’s community to continue our work. We are very grateful to Mr Ozanne and CT Plus for donating the proceeds of this lovely children’s book to Autism Guernsey.’

The States champion for disabled islanders, Deputy Sarah Hansmann Rouxel comments on the importance of the island’s buses: ‘I’ve heard first-hand how important accessing the island and gaining independence can be for disabled islanders, those with learning difficulties or on the autism spectrum, especially to those who can’t drive. Having access to buses and giving children the tools to access them safely is a great project. I’ve enjoyed reading various drafts of the book and seeing it in its final form is fantastic.’

The Amazing Journey: Puffin Explores Guernsey, a tale about a young puffin who sets out on the bus to go on an adventure around the island is on sale later and can be purchased from the bus kiosk, £2.30 from each £3 book sold will go to the charity.

For more information about the work that Autism Guernsey do visit www.autismguernsey.org.gg.

For bus information visit www.buses.gg.

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