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Local charity spurs organisations to rally round to build awareness of the ‘invisible’ disability

Glebe House, a Loughborough based charity, has invited local organisations and charities across Leicestershire to work in partnership to coordinate a range of events and activities to mark World Autism Awareness Week starting from 27th March to 2nd April and then throughout April.

Organisations who have already pledged their support to help raise much needed awareness include Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Autistic Society, Autism East Midlands, FTM Dance, RNIB College, Homefield College, Charnwood Borough Council, Attenborough Arts but to name a few.

Glebe House Chief Executive, Peter Warlow stated, “Whilst general awareness of autism is much higher in recent times, research shows that there remains a lack of understanding about what it really means to live with Au, not only for the person with autism but also for those who care for them and live with them. It is important to raise awareness and to get much needed support from other commercial organisations. “

The week will begin with a ‘Living with Autism’ Conference on Thursday 30th March hosted by Leicestershire Autistic Society, followed by a worldwide initiative to ‘Light up in Blue’ as we countdown to World Autism Awareness Day on the 2nd April.

Leicestershire Autistic Society chairperson, Jenny Cornwell commented “Our objectives are to promote year-round Autism awareness to the public, and to provide support and information to families through our Helpline, “Linkup” newsletter, Support groups, Family activities and Training. Our conference “Living with Autism” in partnership with Glebe House will kick off the activities celebrating World Autism Awareness Day and April Autism Awareness Month.” She continued, “It’s vital for us to train and support anyone living with, caring for or educating a person who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder & Condition.”

Cllr Jonathan Morgan, Charnwood Borough Council’s Lead Member for Communities, who is supporting our ‘Light it up Blue’ campaign said: “We are delighted to be supporting World Autism Awareness Week in this way as it is important to raise awareness and improve understanding of autism and the challenges people face so we have the right support in place for those who need it.”

Autism Outreach Services Manager, Kevin Baskerville said, ““We are really pleased to be part of the autism awareness campaign. We provide services into schools and settings and are the East Midlands hub for the Autism Education Trust providing a DfE sponsored programme of training for educational based professionals. Our conference also being held on the 30th March is for education professionals and will target additional measures that schools can take to improve standards of delivery for children and young people on the autism spectrum.”

Leicestershire County Hall and Rolls Royce in Derby have also pledged their support to light it up blue. Other businesses invited to ‘Light it Blue’ include John Lewis, Showcase and Cineworld Cinemas, Leicester Tigers and Football Club and supermarket giant Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s.

Fusion Lifestyle Leisure Centre in Loughborough are hosting an Autism open charity event to celebrate Autism within the community on the 2nd April and later in the month another mini conference, supported by Autism East Midlands, will be held about the Pathways to Adulthood.

Francesca Bett, Sports Development Officer for Fusion said, “We are delighted to be hosting an Autism awareness charity event on World Awareness Day. We are a family centre and pride ourselves on also being an inclusive centre, so we jumped at the chance to host this important event. We are currently in the process of organising a range of activities like gymnastics, curling, boccia, swimming sessions, an exclusive soft play session, and so much more. We will also have information stands available to offer advice and information. We are looking forward to it and hope lots of families come and join us to mark our event.”

For more information about these events or if you would like to know how you can get involved please contact marketing@glebehouseproject.org.uk or call 0161 291 6958