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Saturday night saw 150 supporters from across the East Midlands come together to celebrate the golden anniversary of Autism East Midlands as they hosted their 50th year ball. The evening raised £12,000.

The black tie event, which took place at Alea Nottingham, celebrated the support the charity has given families affected by autism since 1968. Autism East Midlands has since grown to be the largest specialist autism charity in the East Midlands, providing support for both adults and children, and improving the quality of life for thousands of families.

The celebrity guest for the evening was Henry Normal, who was born in St Ann’s, Nottingham. Known to many locally as the co-founder of the Nottingham Poetry Festival, Henry is a writer, poet and award winning TV and film producer. Henry opened the 50th Anniversary Ball with a moving speech about his family’s experiences of autism.

A live auction and raffle were the main fundraising activities on the night, raising vital funds for the charity, with prizes including a top of the range hospitality experience at Manchester United Football Club. Autism East Midlands would like to thank all the businesses and supporters who have generously supported this 50th Anniversary Ball, especially lead sponsors C.Ratcliffe’s Builders Limited & intu Victoria and Broadmarsh Centres, as well as Geldards Solicitors.

Jane Howson, Chief Executive Officer of the charity said:
“We are so grateful to our sponsors and supporters for helping to raise an incredible amount! Autism East Midlands has been involved in supporting individuals affected by autism for fifty years, and the evening was a great celebration of that work, as well as an opportunity for us to look to the future. The funds raised from the evening will be used to support our network of family support hubs across the region – so thank you!”

The family support hubs meet in a variety of locations across the region and aim to help families affected by autism create effective peer support networks, as well as giving autistic children and siblings a chance to interact with others in similar situations.

The families who attend feel the benefit of the community created by Family Support Hubs. A local parent who attends one of the hubs said – “The family hub is great – it’s a safe, enjoyable and inclusive place for both my children to play and be themselves.”

More information on the hubs can be found on the Autism East Midlands under, Family Support Hubs