INVENTIVE staff at an autistic centre in Oxfordshire set up a 'shed store to safeguard its vulnerable residents.

Workers at Kingwood charity in Wallingford, where eight adults with autism and Asperger Syndrome live and receive 24-hour support, build a small shop in the garden of the centre's premises where residents can safely access newspapers and their favourite treats like soft drinks, crisps, candy bars and chocolate Kinder eggs.

The new service was introduced last week because employees were concerned that residents would want to venture out and queue at supermarkets during the coronavirus pandemic and in doing so not-knowingly endanger their health and they the health of others.

The 'fantastic' initiative not only helps people to retain some of their routine, whilst ‘staying at home’ and keeping safe.

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Support manager at the facility Christian said: "The management team had the idea as we wanted to keep some of the routines of the people we support, as they would normally walk twice a day to the local garage to buy a drink, a snack or a newspaper.

"The shop is for all residents in the service who due to their autism struggle with the current government restrictions.

"They like the idea and happily go to the shed to buy items instead of to the corner shop."

One of the residents at the Wallingford facility Daniel praised the workers' efforts and said: ""I like a coke and crisps and I cannot go out at the moment."

Residents also receive a 'McDonalds' meal every week.

The last day before the fast food chain shut the charity was given Happy Meal boxes and toys, so now occupier get a homemade burger and chips weekly.

The eight residents have also taken up drawing during the lockdown and all the windows of the centre could be seen dressed-up in rainbow-themed pictures.