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Pictured LEFT to RIGHT: Jack Knight (Autism East Midlands), Jessica Boateng with Albert the Autistic Bear and BBC Radio Nottingham’s Mark Dennison

Central College Nottingham Fashion and Textiles student Jessica has created Albert the Autistic Bear for Autism East Midlands and captured the interest of local press and media.

Jessica Boateng, a second-year Level 3 Textiles, Fashion and Decorative Arts student at the college, designed ‘Albert the Autistic Bear’ to help raise awareness for Autism East Midlands, her chosen charity. Jessica and Albert have appeared on BBC Radio Nottingham this morning and have hit the headlines within a series of local press features.

Nineteen-year-old Jessica, who is autistic, hopes her bear can inspire others who are on spectrum and says the condition was top of her list when choosing a charity to design for during her project.

Jessica adds:

I chose a teddy bear because I can be a child at heart. I loved playing with teddy bears ever since I was a little girl. They’ve always been my best friends when I had no other friends to hang around with. I thought by making a teddy bear for children/teens/adults who have autism, it could help reduce their feelings of loneliness and isolation. I feel passionately about raising awareness for this condition because I know what it feels like to be rejected, isolated and lonely; in fact, I have lived that all my life. I really want to help those who lived the same life like me because it’s not their fault they were born with autism and feel different; they just want to be accepted.

Graduate Community Fundraiser at Autism East Midlands, Jack Knight visited her stand at the college and was impressed by her work and dedication in creating Albert. Adding:

Jessica’s charity felt project has really captured her own experiences with autism in a way that can educate others. As the leading charity in this field across the region, Autism East Midlands recognise the amount of thought and research that has gone into Jessica’s teddy bear, Albert. Our clinical team based at Sutherland House School, Nottingham were impressed with Albert’s emotion sticks. These were a really innovative idea that helps to others to understand more about autism. On behalf of our organisation I would like to say a huge well done to Jessica for a wonderful project!

Listen to the interview with textile design student, Jessica Boateng and Jack Knight from Autism East Midlands here >> http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055nmqb available until 1 Aug 2017 (Interview starts at 2:12:39)