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The Autism Friendly, Spectrum Festival returned at the weekend as over 1300 people enjoyed two days of fun filled activities at Lea Green Development Centre in Derbyshire. Families from right across the country made the trip to the Peak District to access this unique event.

Spectrum Festival aims to create an environment that can allow families to enjoy activities that they perhaps couldn’t attend previously,

“Outstanding event! Today was our first time and without a shadow of doubt we will be going back in September and every year after that. It was so lovely to feel relaxed in an environment where no one judges your child, stares or makes you feel uncomfortable. All the staff were so friendly and helpful. We have two delighted little boys and two very happy parents”

The festival provides families affected by autism the opportunity to enjoy a day out in an environment designed to be autism-friendly. Families who perhaps cannot easily access more mainstream environments, such as co-founder of the event Peaks GO’s David Ryan,

“I am overwhelmed by the support and positivity that came from running this event. So many smiling faces from parents, children and adults alike, from all walks of life. If only every day out could be like this for people on the spectrum.”

The festival supported the regions largest autism specific charity, Autism East Midlands who have supported Spectrum Festival from its initial idea, ensuring that the environment and activities were as autism friendly as possible. The charity, which provides a wide variety of services across the East Midlands, was present on the day to support festival and provide information about their services.

One parent who attended commented on their experience of Spectrum Festival,

“We visited yesterday and all I can say was it was amazing. We don’t often have a family day out and have so much fun or feel at ease. The fantastic staff really made the day. They not only chatted to but interacted and engaged with my son in a way that left him grinning ear to ear. We loved the fact that there was lots of areas that we could go to when it was getting a little to much. We can’t wait to do it again.”

Hosted at Lea Green, Spectrum Festival allowed attendees the opportunity to access the centre’s high wires, climbing wall and zip wire. The festival was also packed with organisations who offered information about their services.

“After spending the whole day (10:30-5) at this fabulous event my son is already asking when can we go again. There was a great range of activities, catering for every type of child. The staff were amazing with the children and there was a great friendly, family atmosphere.”

Tickets are still available for the September Spectrum Festival and can be purchased from https://spectrum2019.eventbrite.co.uk