McCrystal Opticians Supports First of its Kind Autism Centre in NI

McCrystal Opticians has named The National Autistic Society NI as its nominated charity for 2017 and has also backed the charity’s exciting new Autism Centre project by becoming an official sponsor.

The cutting-edge NAS Autism Centre will be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, it will be located on the outskirts of Belfast and is scheduled for completion later in 2017. Focusing on the latest autism-specific sensory technology, it will offer day provision for autistic adults with very complex and high support needs, as well as programmes for all ages and abilities.

Shirelle Stewart, Director, National Autistic Society Northern Ireland said,

“We thank McCrystal Opticians Dungannon for choosing NAS NI as their 2017 charity and we are delighted to welcome the practice as an official Autism Centre Partner.  Nothing like the new centre currently exists in Northern Ireland, we have a significant fundraising target of £169,926 to meet to cover start-up costs and we urgently need the support of businesses, like McCrystal Opticians, to help make this much-needed building come to life.”

Mr Noel McCrystal, McCrystal Opticians said he is proud to become an NAS Autism Centre Partner and calls for other businesses to do the same.

“We specialise in optometry for autistic adults and children and recognise the need to help improve the lives and prospects of autistic people in Northern Ireland. Through listening to the experiences of our patients and their families, and through our existing voluntary work with NAS Dungannon branch, we understand the importance for additional, centralised support services in NI.

“It is estimated that there are over 20,000 people with autism in Northern Ireland. The fantastic new centre will be a huge step towards helping improve the prospects of autistic adults in particular. This amazing space will help nurture and channel their energy, passions and skills. We encourage other businesses to support the sterling work being done by Shirelle and her team at NAS NI.  My staff and I look forward to further supporting NAS NI and the new centre by fundraising, volunteering and collaborating throughout the year.”

The new build Autism Centre will provide a safe and stimulating environment for autistic adults from across the province to continue to learn and develop new skills. While its core mission is day provision for adults with autism who have complex needs, it will also support current NAS services, including help for NAS branches, families, social and leisure groups for children/ adults and other groups and organisations. The space will include a sensory room, OMI suite, life skills room, well-being room, training kitchen and garden and will feature the very latest interactive and sensory technologies beneficial to the development and well-being of autistic adults.

For more information on the NAS Autism Centre and sponsorship/donation options contact Shirelle Stewart or visit

Shirelle Stewart, Director of NAS NI with Mr Noel McCrystal, McCrystal Opticians Dungannon.

Shirelle Stewart, Director of NAS NI with Mr Noel McCrystal, McCrystal Opticians Dungannon.