A Dagenham service described as a "happy, safe and secure" space has been nationally recognised for the tailored support it provides for people with autism.

Welcome to Our World (WOW), based at Heathlands Day Centre on Heathway, received accreditation from the National Autistic Society after an inspection last month.

It is among 246 organisations across the country to achieve the body's accredited status, which requires a standard of excellence to be met and a framework to be followed.

Barking and Dagenham Cllr Maureen Worby said it was the result of "hard work and dedication" put into the facility, which launched in 2003.

"Not only does it demonstrate the outstanding level of support available to people with autism in Barking and Dagenham, but it shows that having a disability does mean you are not excluded," she said.

The WOW service has "clear and consistent structures and routines" to help people to feel confident and continually develop, the inspection report said.

The five staff members build "positive and trusting" relationships with the people using the facility and use best practice techniques to meet their needs.