A DETERMINED Gourock man is on a mission to open up a sensory centre to support young people with additional support needs in Inverclyde.

Andrew Ford, who works as an additional support needs classroom assistant, believes the area needs a specialist facility where children and young people with conditions such as autism can have play in a safe environment.

The 27-year-old, who stays in Mathie Crescent, says his plans for the Greenock centre are in the very early stages but is keen to share his idea.

He said: "The centre will be aimed at kids and young people with additional support needs, including children in wheelchairs and those with autism and non verbal communication.

"It will be a place where they can go and play with gloop and slime - all the messy stuff.

"I also want to create a sensory story walk, focusing on sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

"The whole idea is for children and young people with additional support needs to play and have fun.

"I think there is definitely a gap there."

Andrew, who attended the former Glenburn School, says a lot of soft play facilities are not designed for children with additional support needs.

He added: "I work with children with additional support needs and a lot of soft play facilities are not suitable."

Andrew is now keen to find out the level of demand for this type of service locally.

He has organised three drop-in information sessions across Inverclyde where he will explain his idea and show some examples of what the centre would offer.

Questionnaires will also be handed out for interested families to complete.

The first session will be at the Gamble Halls in Gourock on Monday August 26 between noon and 2pm.

Two more sessions will take place at Port Glasgow Town Hall on Friday August 30 and Greenock Sports Centre on Friday September 6.