A CHARITY aimed at removing the stigma of autism has been launched by a Bolton mum-of-two.

Yanela Ntlauzana, 37, whose sons Yanick, 14, and Ritchie,9, both have the condition, is beginning things in style with an African Gala Dinner on Saturday.

She has founded the Plumfield Charity with the intention of breaking down the stigma about autism in African communities, and in some ethnic communities closer to home.

Yanela, who lives in Tonge Moor, said: “When you realise your child is different to the mainstream, it can be hard at first. It’s a shock to the system and you have to adapt in a massive way.

“Once you get over the shock and embrace the differences, it get easier. You just have to do things differently.”

She added: “I want parents of children with autism to understand that all families are different and we are all unique, whether we have autism or not.

On a personal front, Yanick has become an outstanding swimmer and has not only taught himself how to play the guitar, but has also taught Ritchie.

“I’m so proud that they will be performing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song at Saturday’s dinner,” said Yanela.

Further entertainment will be provided by D.J.s, poets and African musicians, and traditional African food will be on the menu.

The event, from 3pm to 11pm on Saturday, is at Bolton Methodist Mission Hall, Knowlsey Street, Bolton. For details call 07861759671.