Autism Awareness in the community
862. Lynn Westerman Holt
Lynn Westerman Holt, from Harrogate, has been a leading volunteer with ‘Autism Angels’, a charity supporting children with autism.
When Lynn, whose son Alexander has autism, attended an ‘Autism Angels’ programme using horses to help children with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties, she was inspired to volunteer and expand the charity’s outreach. Lynn has given talks and training to local schools and companies to raise awareness of autism. She was also instrumental in launching an annual Christmas Santa’s grotto in 2013, designed for children who struggle with sensory overloads, which was attended by over 100 children and their families. This year, she has helped the charity gain over £50,000 in funding for the development of their centre in Yorkshire, creating new indoor and outdoor spaces to improve learning for autistic children.
In a personal letter to Lynn, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
Through ‘Autism Angels’ you are raising awareness of the challenges faced by children with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties, and making a real difference to the lives of children with autism and their families in your local community. Your key role in securing funding for the charity is a testament to your remarkable commitment for creating inclusive experiences and improving the wellbeing of young people with autism.