Doncaster autism group is a £3 million National Lottery winner

A Doncaster group that helps people with autism through art has won a share of a £3 million National Lottery jackpot.

Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 2:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 2:51 pm
Emma Wilson (left) together with students, support staff and friends at The ArtSpace in Finkle Court Thorne where Artistic Spectrum has a workshop and gallery.

Artistic Spectrum, a social enterprise that offers art as therapy across Doncaster, has been announced as a winner in the finals of this year’s National Lottery People’s Projects.

The organisation was one of five finalists selected from the Yorkshire and Humber region to be put to the public vote which saw three of the five groups receive up to £50,000 funding for a 12-month period.

Explained founder Emma Wilson: “We’re absolutely delighted that people voted for our project named ‘Me, Myself & I’. It means for the next year we’ll be running art as therapy sessions across Doncaster for people with autism. The work will then be exhibited in the town and in the Palace Of Westminster in London thanks to the support of Caroline Flint MP.”

Part of the money will be used to take autistic students, their families and support workers to see the work exhibited in London and to raise awareness of the condition now thought to affect up to one in a hundred people.

Said Ms Flint: “It’s fantastic news that Artistic Spectrum and their innovative project ‘Me, Myself & I’ has been selected to receive the Lottery funding and I look forward to seeing the exhibition in Westminster Palace."

The whole of the Doncaster voluntary and community sector has got behind Artistic Spectrum, helping to mobilise support throughout the borough and beyond.

Said Norma Wardman, Director of Doncaster CVS which has supported Artistic Spectrum from day one: “The entire team at Doncaster CVS are delighted to hear this news. Artistic Spectrum is a fantastic example of a social enterprise that has achieved so much in the community and voluntary sector in Doncaster. We wish her all the best for her brilliant project.”

Artistic Spectrum has the celebrity backing of Sophie McShera who played kitchen maid, Daisy Robinson in Downton Abbey and officially opened the group’s home, The Artspace, in Thorne back in 2013.

Says Sophie: “Artistic Spectrum do amazing work to help people with autism do the things we take for granted like socialising, having fun and feeling a proud sense of achievement by creating beautiful works of art and I’m extremely pleased that people have voted for this fantastic project."