Special week launched in Harborough to raise awareness of autism

The chairman's charity Spectrum organised a charity event at Gallones ice cream parlour in Market Harborough.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
The chairman's charity Spectrum organised a charity event at Gallones ice cream parlour in Market Harborough.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The chairman of Harborough District Council has helped launch a special week for autistic people highlighting the challenges they face.

Cllr Barbara Johnson met dozens of families at Gallone’s Ice Cream Parlour in Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough, to kickstart Autism Hour.

Harborough District chairman Barbara Johnson with Joy Hanlon and Emma Page of Spectrum during the event at Gallones.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Harborough District chairman Barbara Johnson with Joy Hanlon and Emma Page of Spectrum during the event at Gallones.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

She went along on Saturday (Oct 5) after choosing Spectrum, the Harborough-based Autism Support Group, as her charity of the year.

More than 50 adults and children from throughout the area turned up to support the event.

The nationwide campaign staged by the National Autistic Society will run until this Saturday (Oct 12).

Emma Page, chair of Spectrum, said: “It was so lovely to see our families joining in with Autism Hour.

“Gallone’s made sure the environment was inclusive so our families could enjoy themselves!”

The Autism Hour initiative urges businesses to turn music off, tone down lighting and educate staff in a bid to make autistic people feel more comfortable.

Among businesses backing Autism Hour are Harborough Market, Aldwinckles Coffee House, Nature’s Pantry, Fat Face, Randalls, The Growing Tree, Clarks, Sainsbury’s, Shoe Zone, Halifax, Lloyds, Co-op and Superdrug.

You can find more details here: https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/autism-hour/map.aspx

Anyone who would like to find out more about Spectrum can contact them at spectrumautismgroup@yahoo.com or on Facebook:

Spectrum Autism Group.

Emma said there are 700,000 autistic people in the UK.

“For many autistic people, the world can be full of too much information - and too little understanding,” she said.

Last year 11,000 businesses in the UK supported autism hour by making shops and outlets less overwhelming and more welcoming for autistic people.