The 2018 event will take place on Tuesday 27th March from 9:30am to 3pm in the Banqueting Suite of the Leeds Civic Hall. It will have two main guest speakers, an “autism tree”, short speeches from local autistic people and over 30 stalls from services throughout Leeds.
Henry Normal is a well-known comedian, television producer, poet and writer. He co-wrote shows including The Royle Family and The Mrs Merton Show amongst others.
Henry has a 19-year-old autistic son and has recently published a new book “A Normal Family – Everyday Adventures with our Autistic Son”.
Henry explains the book is for anyone whose life has been touched by autism. It’s about hope, the despair and the messy, honest, sometimes light-hearted day-to-day world of autism.
Angie Balmer is the Learning Disability and Neurodiverse Conditions Community Partner for the DWP in West Yorkshire. Angie will be talking talk about her efforts to up-skill work coaches about autism and the challenges it brings.
She will also discuss her experiences as an autistic person acclimatising to a new career within the civil service. Angie has been working for the DWP for many years and regularly visits job centres in Leeds.
Talks from local autistic people will then follow our guest speakers; each talk will be approximately five minutes long and will feature people who access a variety of autism-specific services, including Leeds Autism Services, Specialist Autism Services and Leeds Autism AIM.
Talks will focus on the success that autistic adults can, and have, achieved.
To mark World Autism Awareness Day, there will be a “tree” in the main hall on the day. The tree will have leaves where you can write what being autistic means to you. After the event finishes, the completed tree will be moved to the nearby Leeds City Museum and will be displayed there for the next few weeks.
Here is a list of the confirmed stallholders so far:
1: Carers Leeds
2: Chapeltown Citizens Advice Bureau
5: Housing Leeds
8: Through The Maze
10: Jigsaw Tree
12/13: Leeds ABC / STARS
14: Orkid Ideas
17: Lighthouse Futures Trust
20: Leeds Autism AIM
21: People Matters
24: Leeds Autism Services / Leeds Bradford Airport
25: Shared Lives / St. Anne’s
26: Purple Patch Arts
27: Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board
28: Intensive Interaction
29: Specialist Autism Services
30: Leeds Involving People / Leeds Asperger Adults
31: Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service / Community Mental Health Team
This year, we will have a quiet room for anyone who is there but who feels overloaded. There will also be tea and coffee available, but you will need to pay for it.
Parking is available at the Merrion Centre for a discounted rate. To obtain your discount, simply go to the CitiPark multi-storey on the day and bring your ticket to Leeds Autism Services’ stall. They will discount your ticket by 50%.
Tea, coffee and soft drinks will be available to buy from Leeds Civic Hall catering.
There are a number of food outlets nearby for light refreshments/lunch and in addition, we have arranged a discount of 20% off food orders only, at The Cuthbert Brodrick (JD Wetherspoon) in Millennium Square. Obtain your 20% off voucher from the Banqueting Suite.
If you are looking for something specific at the event, please ask one of our volunteers who will be wearing yellow t-shirts with the Bigger And Better In Leeds logo.
10:00-10:05: Intro by Danielle from Leeds Autism Services
10:05-10:20: Helen Gee
10:20-10:25: Steven Foster from theWhite Rose Shopping Centre
10:25-10:30: Speaker from Lookers Nissan (to be confirmed)
10:30-11:00: Henry Normal
11:30-12:00: Angie Balmer
12:00-12:30: Individual speakers