The irresistible charm of Grease will be channelled by the Bexhill and Hastings branch of the National Autistic Society in its upcoming efforts to raise funds and awareness.
The local parent-volunteer group will be holding its Sing-a-long-Grease evening on Wednesday April 1 at the Electric Palace in Hastings Old Town as part of its support for World Autism Awareness week from March 27-April 2.
The event is open to parents and carers of children with autism and the branch is also holding a raffle for which local businesses such as Marks and Spencer have donated raffle prizes. The aim is to provide a fun night and raise funds for NAS, but the group also hopes to raise awareness of autism within the local area and how it affects families and their daily lives.
The group aims to offer support to families across both Bexhill and Hastings with children who have autism, a lifelong disability which affects how a person communicates and relates to others. The group was started in 2008 by local mum, Sarah Fletton, from Bexhill, who has two children with autism.
Gemma Cook commented: “Many parents feel over-whelmed by their child’s diagnosis and feel unable to get the support they need. Sadly, many families find it easier to stay at home and avoid public places where they feel self-conscious and isolated.
Children with autism struggle to access mainstream activities due to their anxiety levels, lack of understanding and sensory issues, and often miss out on opportunities that other children would experience.
The group provides a life-line to these families and through fundraising, organises local activities, exclusively hiring venues. The activities include: trips to local farms, soft-play centres and Easter and Christmas parties. Without our fundraising many of these events would not take place. World Autism Awareness Week is all about doing something to stand out for autism! Our group will use this opportunity to raise funds to support people with autism to live the lives they choose, to spread the word about autism and to also have fun.” The group supports 150 families. For more info about NAS contact Sarah on 07920 254569, or email Bexhill@nas.org.uk