Helping South Ayrshire Autistic Society go on a day trip to the theatre

A smiling woman standing in front of a field

How volunteer Lesley Moore used funding to take members of a local charity to watch a special performance of The Lion King

I volunteer for the South Ayrshire Autistic Society (SAAS). We’re a small locally based charity, self-supported and run by parents, and we provide support for children and adults with autistic spectrum disorders, their families and carers. As a parent of an autistic child, I’m so grateful for their support.

Volunteering for the SAAS is extremely important to me. Autism sufferers and their parents or carers can become very isolated and it’s vital that they know they have people supporting them. Our charity helps our members when they need it most – guiding them through difficult times and helping them to stay connected to their community.

“We provide help and support when our members need it most”

Arranging regular social activities is really important to the charity and our members, but it can be difficult. Everyday outings such as trips to the cinema or theatre are often impossible because lighting, noise and surroundings can cause distress, often disturbing other viewers. Cost is a major factor too, so we often find we need support in that area.

“Edinburgh Playhouse was presenting an autism-friendly performance – ideal for our members”

I’d heard of the Foundation Community Awards before but wasn’t quite sure how they worked, or if we’d be eligible for funding. However, when I discovered that Edinburgh Playhouse was presenting a dedicated autism-friendly performance of the Lion King, I decided to apply. It seemed like it would be a great opportunity for our members to do something really fun.

The specially-adapted performance was suitable for people with autism, with trained staff on-hand in dedicated quiet activity areas, in case anyone needed to leave their seats. I really hoped we’d get the funding, as the whole day sounded fantastic and would provide a much-needed break for parents, carers and their families.

“I was so pleased when we were awarded funding for the trip – and everyone got so excited”

I was so pleased when we were awarded funding for the trip. Everyone got so excited about the outing – it’s all they talked about for weeks and the show was fantastic.

Working with a charity like SAAS has many highlights. It’s a wonderful group to be involved in and I’m so glad I was able to help our members do something special by getting funding from the Foundation.