The Torch Theatre had a genuine buzz in the atmosphere, as the foyer and upper floors teemed with energy and conversation on Thursday 6 July. Beautiful paintings of Elephants and Gnu’s lined the walls and stands lined the corridors, as people engaged in conversation and goodie bags exchanged. While positive vibes and energy are commonplace at the Torch, today was a little different.
Dyfed Powys Police, ASD Info Wales and other charities/third sector organisations had collaborated to provide an awareness raising event, full of information, guidance, advice as well as providing some delicious confectionaries!
Amongst one of the TSOs was Mr. Jonathan Bell, on behalf of The Trinity Project / Prosiect y Drindod, a specialist Youth Club providing a safe environment for young people with ALN/Disabilities, from ages 5-18.
Mr Bell thought that it was “…really good to have Dyfed Powys congregate services for maximum impact for parents… a one stop shop for guidance and advice.” It was certainly an “invaluable event, which helped put a face to the name” for a number of these organisations.
The presentation in the Main Auditorium was opened by the Neighbourhood Police Team, Sergeant Terri Harrison, giving thanks to the Regional Autism Development Officer Frances Rees, and Sue Evans from Pembrokeshire County Council’s Inclusion Service, and PC Emma Smyth for setting up the event, and ensuring its success.
Superintendent Ian John officially began the event, praising Milford Haven’s communities and businesses for embracing the mission to become the first ‘Autism Friendly Town’ in South West Wales. “I think it is a massive testament that the police and community are working together…” and everything done is “central to the heart of the community”.
NPT Sergeant Terri Harrison has been one of the Dyfed Powys Police’ team to encourage and promote local Milford Haven businesses into completing an Autism Awareness course via ASD Info Wales. The “passionate community” of Milford Haven was praised for joining the mission.
ASD Info Wales’ “Can You See Me?” campaign was the opening video, but really hit the message home. Outlining the support for children and adults alike on the Autistic spectrum, and offering an insight into the day to day experiences of those with Autism, and shattering the stigma often attached with Autism in general, it offered some invaluable information and advice, as well as pointing people in the direction of further information.
The rest of the presentation was highly informative, and offered many personal anecdotes and experiences from members of Pembrokeshire People First both by those who spoke on stage and on the fantastic video ‘Take 5’, produced by Curious Ostrich.
We were also treated to a delightful rendition of Disney classics by none other than Mr Philip Howells; a truly talented individual, with such a history of achievements and orchestral performances and appearances.
The event was a tremendous success and testament to the support and cohesion of the community of Milford Haven and Pembrokeshire as a whole, and the business and charities which operate within and outside the county; cupcakes and tea were the perfect end to such a positive and uplifting Afternoon!
For Further Information:
ASDinfoWales | www.asdinfowales.co.uk | Twitter: @asdinfowales
Pembrokeshire People First | www.pembrokeshirepeople1st.org.uk | Twitter: @pembspeople1st
The Trinity Project | Facebook: @trinityprojectpembs | Twitter: @PembsTrinity