Blue Easter egg is launched by an Ely chocolate factory to raise awareness of autism

Harry Specters staff making some of their sweet chocolate treats

Harry Specters staff making some of their sweet chocolate treats - Credit: Archant

A family run chocolate factory in Ely, that promotes understanding and acceptance of autism, has launched a blue egg in time for Easter.

The couple behind Harry Specter created the new tasty treat because blue is the colour that represents autism awareness.

Husband and wife team Shaz and Mona Shah, whose 20 year old son Ash is autistic, launched the company around two years ago. The blue egg is their latest way to help promote inclusion.

Shaz said they created the new treat, known as eggism, which is: “An egg + autism. It’s our way of celebrating our employees who are autistic and appreciating their contribution towards the business.

“It is our way of raising awareness, inclusion, and acceptance. Harry Specters was born by combining a love for chocolates and a passion for creating jobs for people with autism.

“This passion drives the need to look at people with autism a bit differently. And when you do that, magic happens!

“The magic uncovers the untapped, under-utilised and un-nurtured skills that people with autism have.

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“We are very proud of the fact that during the past two years, one of our biggest successes is to be able to create a supportive environment for young people with autism.

“We have worked with over 40 young people to date, and as a result we have a good idea of what skills they possess.”

Cambridgeshire MEP Alex Mayer unveiled the blue Easter egg at the St Thomas Place unit in the city.

She said: “They are on a mission to create a sweeter life for people with autism. They currently employ four staff members with autism and provide work experience for up to 10 local young people at a time.

“The Shah’s son is autistic so it is a cause close to their heart. Only 16 per cent of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment, and only 32 per cent are in some kind of paid work.

“The National Autistic Society estimate 1 in 100 people are autistic meaning around 6,500 people in Cambridgeshire are living with the condition.”

Alex, who backs Autism-Europe’s strategy on research and sharing best practice, said: “The chocolate tastes even better when you know you are supporting a good cause.”