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A CAMPAIGN to give autistic children an iPad in exchange for old mobile phones has received overwhelming support from the community.

Tyldesley mum Annette Jackson decided to start collecting phones for the Hearts and Minds campaign when she saw the difference in her son Jamie after he was given an iPad.

Following an article in the Journal she has since been contacted by several other parents of autistic children and has helped them collect and exchange phones.

She said: “Jamie was completely non-verbal before he got his iPad, but now you can hold a full conversation with him. It has helped him so much I wanted to help my nephew Karl with the scheme. Since then, the phones keep coming in and people keep contacting me for help. We have also had iPads donated by businesses that no longer need them.

“It helps the children at school because they would have to share if they didn’t have their own, and there are apps they can use for speech therapy and ones for non-verbal children, so they can signal what they would like by pictures.”

Danielle Pedley contacted Annette to ask for help collecting phones for her four-year-old son Josh.

The Atherton mum said: “Josh gets very frustrated because he can’t talk and struggles to express himself. Josh goes to the same school as Jamie and I saw how it has helped him develop his speech. I just hope it can do the same for Josh.”

You can donate an old mobile phone to Danielle’s campaign at Sherrington’s Coffee House on Market Street.

The Hearts and Minds charity runs the scheme to help provide technology gifts for people with autism. To find out more, visit heartsandmindsphones.co.uk.