LEARNING disability technology specialist Alex Roland from Your IT Now hopes passing on his passion for gaming could be a game changer.

Alex has launched a new service in Taunton and Bridgwater for neuro-divergent over 18s with learning difficulties and autism.

It is based around bringing together the people he supports and the wider learning disability community through games and gaming.

Alex said: "Game Changer is a three-hour session based at Taunton Library and the Hub Charity, Angel Place, Bridgwater, where people can come together to chat, chill and play the latest, greatest games or just play the games they grew up with and love.

"We specialise in games such as Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure, which get people physically as well as mentally active.

"Gaming isn’t just about people sitting in darkened rooms playing in isolation. It’s a massively important social activity for many people and we want to help people get the most from it.”

He added that he was shocked when he read that 36 per cent of people say they are still spending too much time alone – the same level as during the peak of lockdown.

On top of this, around 46 per cent of disabled people are experiencing worse mental health compared to one 18 per cent of non-disabled people.

The dismal picture is likely to be even worse for people with a learning disability who often face higher levels of social isolation and more mental health issues.

Alex launched the Association for Neuro-diversity in Video Games in 2021 to help people with neuro-diversity have their voices heard in the gaming industry.

Game Changer opened its doors this month at the Glass Box, in Taunton and in The Hub Charity, at Angel Place, Bridgwater, for free weekly sessions.

He obtained funding from a range of local organisations including Somerset County Council, Somerset Community Foundation and Discovery.

This project is part of Love Community CIC, a strategic umbrella organisation that represents a range of community based initiatives.

The key aims are to support activities that will benefit the whole community with the intention of reducing social isolation, increasing community engagement, increasing health and wellbeing, building confidence, forming friendships and learning new skills.