Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is ready to help paint the town blue this weekend, as the venue will join other local landmarks to light up blue for World Autism Awareness Day this Sunday, April 2.
Local Guildford charity Cherry Trees have played a significant role in the preparations for this year’s Awareness Day in Guildford, hoping that their huge effort to spread the word across the local community is going to generate an overwhelming blue response from Guildford businesses and organisations.
In 2007 the United Nations declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day: an internationally recognised day which is aimed at raising awareness of autism throughout the world.
Global landmarks like the Empire State Building, Prince's Palace of Monaco, Niagara Falls, Trafalgar Square, Orlando Eye and The Great Buddha amongst many thousands of others will celebrate the day through lighting their great monuments blue.
Here in Guildford, Cherry Trees are anticipating welcoming a big crowd to join them at the March Hare from 5pm onwards on Sunday. The blue procession will begin at 6.10pm finishing at the Guildford Castle at 6:30pm where The Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Gordon Jackson will turn on the lights to illuminate Guildford Castle in blue.
Guildford Spectrum, the Guildhall, Tunsgate Arch and the Friary, as well as the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, will all be lit up in blue as part of the campaign. Many others in the town centre will be doing their blue bit and showing their support by decorating their shop windows with blue displays.
Cherry Trees provides home-from-home short breaks for children and young people aged 0-19 with a range of disabilities including learning, physical and sensory impairments. This day is particularly important to them because at least one in 100 people in the UK have autism and over 60% of their children and young adults are on the autistic spectrum.
Raising awareness of autism will help improve the lives of children and adults with the condition, along with their families, and with greater understanding comes improved inclusive opportunities within the community.