A PORT mum’s desperate search to find support for her 12-year-old autistic son has led to her launching her own youth club.

Sherrill Gemmell created the Inverclyde’s A Team Facebook page in a bid to find other parents who faced the same challenges as her.

Just hours after creating the group, she was stunned to find she already had a 200-strong following.

Now Sherill has joined forces with other parents to run two youth clubs and a drop-in for parents.

Sherill, from Arran Avenue, said: “For the first time in my son’s life he has friends.

“It is all he ever wanted and it has made a world of difference.

“All I wanted to do was give my son Jordan, who has Asperger’s, the chance to get out and socialise with other children.

“It is so good to talk to other parents like me. I thought I was all alone, like no-one else out there understood.

“But it is different now.

“I set up the page because I just wanted to see if there was anyone else out there like me and within a day I had 100 people in the group.”

Sherrill quickly bonded with other mums Rebecca Gibson-Knowles and Kim Hughes and they formed a committee which also includes Sherill’s aunt Elaine Gallacher.

With the backing of Inverclyde Council’s community and learning development team they have set up shop in Port Glasgow’s iYouth Zone in Dubbs Road, where the kids take part in arts and crafts, play Xbox games and pool.

Greenock mum Rebecca has an 11-year-old son Ben with a relatively unknown form of autism and says the new club has been ‘utterly life-changing’ for her family. 

She said: “We have tried everything and this is the only place that works. Ben’s autism is very complicated and this is the only place he has ever felt comfortable.

“It really melts your heart to finally find somewhere. I could see him on the first night, standing back and looking at the other children. Then the penny finally dropped, he could see he could relate to these children and he wasn’t alone any more.”

The Inverclyde A Team say none of it would be possible without the support of youth co-ordinator Caroline McCahill and her colleagues.

Sherill said: “They have been amazing and we couldn’t have done it with out them. But there is a great need throughout Inverclyde and I think we would like to look at expanding to Greenock and Gourock.”