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Looking to the past to build a positive future

A North East organisation that focuses on raising awareness and acceptance of autism, is using history to shape its future.

Awesometistic, is hosting ‘A History of Autism – Looking Back, to Look Forward’ at the Metro Centre* on the 25th June, between 10.30am to 2.30pm.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the exhibition will explore autism’s origins, as well as highlighting case studies and examples of those living with autism and how terminology, support, diagnosis, and treatment has changed over the past quarter of a century.

Hosting the exhibition is Richard Smith, who was recently recognised as a Jubilee Champion for his work in the voluntary sector, attending the Queen’s party at the palace, Jubilee celebration concert.

Diagnosed with autism at the age of 33, Richard who is Managing Director of Awesometistic, said: “It’s super important to me to see the history of autism over the last 25 years, to see if we have changed our understanding and perceptions of autism, but perhaps more importantly demonstrating that everyone with autism is different.

“Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Funding, through events like this, we can continue to learn about peoples’ understanding of autism and hopefully support, improve and provide positive experiences for autistic children and adults.”

In addition to the exhibition, Awesometistic has several initiatives planned over the next year.

This includes a sponsorship package with regeneration specialist New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC), to brand a supercar for Richard, which enables Awesometistic to drive home the message in the region about living with autism.

Richard recently had a bright yellow Ford Mustang. The car was well known across the North East and has raised awareness of Awesometistic’ s campaign, teaching, education and community sessions.

Development Director with NTWDC – which is a partnership between Newcastle City Council and construction partner Keepmoat Homes – Lee McGray added: “We have been aware of Richard and Awesometistic’ s work within the local community and are proud to support an organisation that promotes diversity and inclusion.”

*The event is located at The Community Hub, in the Green Mall of Gateshead’s MetroCentre

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