An appeal has been launched to raise £37,400 to upgrade a Musselburgh-based facility which supports people with autism.

Scottish Autism’s day opportunity service on North High Street currently helps 14 people with autism to lead “happy, healthy and fulfilling” lives.

The team at the day service support people with autism to learn and develop new skills and take a “full and active role” in the community.

The building is in need of an upgrade to further enable those supported there to gain the full benefit of the facility, a spokesperson for Scottish Autism said.

The money raised will finance new flooring, furniture and storage. Additionally, tech and IT equipment, such as iPads, will be upgraded and a range of activities and resources purchased for the supported individuals.

The refurbishment will benefit people like Ana Sofia, 32, who accesses Scottish Autism’s day services in Musselburgh.

A spokesperson said: “Taking into consideration Ana’s diagnosis of autism and complex communication requirements, the staff team work successfully alongside Ana’s family to ensure a person-centred approach is at the forefront of her support. This allows Scottish Autism’s autism practitioners to develop a support plan recognising and acknowledging a level of appropriate support, providing a number of opportunities for Ana.

“Ana’s support comprises both centre and community-based support. She contributes to the development of her personal support needs and provides staff with feedback. Ana independently achieves this through communicating with body language, single words and vocalisations.

“She also utilises symbols/photographs to highlight her needs to staff. Ana offers her team feedback with use of vocabulary, facial expressions and level of engagement in activities.

“Activities that Ana enjoys include dancing to music, walking in the local community, watching animals and wildlife, going out in the day service vehicle and visiting new places, using iPad to watch videos, looking at photographs and listening to music, and visits to the local hydrotherapy pool.”

Jill Ferguson, Scottish Autism’s regional manager for Lothian, said: “Our team in Musselburgh deliver outstanding support for the people who attend our day opportunity service but the facilities they are working in are in need of an upgrade.

“We are launching this appeal to help us raise the money necessary to improve the environment, and thus the experience, for the autistic people who we support.

“All donations will make a fantastic difference to the work we are doing and we are grateful for any and all support people can provide.”

Email fundraising@scot to find out more about the appeal.