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Scunthorpe Inclusive Festival raises autism awareness and brings together families across the community

Options Autism is proud to be hosting its annual Inclusive Festival in Scunthorpe on Sunday 12 August, welcoming both families affected by autism as well as the wider local community to enjoy festival fun at this relaxed and safe open-air event.

Organised by professionals from Options Autism, part of Outcomes First Group – the national provider of care and education to children, young people and adults with autism, complex needs and learning difficulties – the festival aims to raise awareness of autism, to fundraise and help integrate members of the community.

Taking place within the grounds of Options Roxby House – a specialist residential service for people aged 16+ rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the festival will be carefully laid out to avoid overwhelming those with sensory difficulties and include calm, relaxing areas which visitors can make use of if they need to take some time out. Games have been thoughtfully selected to reduce stress and anxiety and to promote a sense of achievement – such as tin can alley, where everyone is a winner.

The stall holders have an understanding of how autism and learning difficulties affect individuals and their families and how to best accommodate their needs. This may mean allowing extra time to process information when speaking and listening, or being patient so that those with additional needs can count money at their own pace or make decisions and choices in their own time.

This is a festival with a difference – though it will still feature the usual offerings of live entertainment, a barbeque, bar and a range of exciting stalls including arts and craft activities, face painting and glitter tattoos and treats. There will also be bouncy castles, crazy golf, a photo booth, a circus workshop, a gymnastics show and singers, as well as family-friendly raffle prizes to be won.

The barbeque caters for vegetarians and there will be gluten free options available – food intolerances or allergies are a common feature of autism and this is another small detail that can make all the difference to a family day out.

Options Autism Ambassador, Anna Kennedy OBE, will be coming along to the event to present a talk on her journey as a parent of children with autism, how she set up schools for young people on the autism spectrum and all about her inspirational charity Anna Kennedy Online, which aims to support individuals with autism and raise awareness around the world.

Commenting on the event, Anita Keech, House Manager at Options Roxby House said: “The Inclusive Festival is self-funded and is run voluntarily by staff. We aim to ensure everyone is included – families, staff, the people we support and the wider community. We aim to raise autism awareness and fundraise for future ‘Inclusive’ activities. Hopefully the sun will continue to shine for a fun afternoon for all involved!

“Please do join us at Options Roxby House, Winterton Road, Roxby, DN15 0BJ, Sunday 12 August 12pm – 4pm.”

To find out more, please contact Inclusive at [email protected]