A newly launched youth group held a summer sports day for Sutton children with special needs last week.

Blast, run by Barnado's Sutton Short Breaks, invited 15 youngsters to take part in a range of outdoor activities, including tennis, rounders, football and parachute games at the BedZed community centre in Hackbridge.

Run since June two Saturdays a month from its home in Carshalton, The Quad, Blast keeps children with special needs busy during the school summer holidays.

Sue Brown who lives in Sutton and whose grandson, George, 15, took part in the Sports Day, said: “This was George’s very first Sports Day with the Blast group and he really enjoyed himself.

"He really likes coming to the group as it’s an opportunity for him to mingle with other young people and make friends.

“Not all services in Sutton provide activities for young people throughout the summer so it’s been really nice that he’s been able to benefit and have fun.”

Barnardo’s Sutton Short Breaks has been working in partnership with Sutton Council for eight years delivering 1:1 support for young people with special needs.

In 2019 the service started moving towards group based work with projects such as Blast and the All Girls Group, a youth club for young girls with autism living in Sutton.

Volunteers from Goldman Sachs provided support throughout the event.

Ana Ireson, Co-ordinator for Sutton Shorts Breaks, said: “We are really grateful to Goldman Sachs for supporting us and our young people with our summer programme of activities.

“For some of the volunteers, this was their first time they had met children and young people with disabilities and we were really impressed by their energy and enthusiasm.

“The support of Goldman Sachs has enabled us to provide additional activities this year during the school holidays including our Sports Day, trip to Hobbledown Farm and Summer Fair.”