At Thursday's rehearsal we were joined by Michelle Sinclair and some of the children who benefit from the support of local charity Fun With Autism, who came to collect a cheque for a magnificent £590 raised by the WAGS for the charity. Michelle thanked the WAGS on behalf of the charity for their support and explained how it will benefit the families who use Fun With Autism.
Although the WAGS have been given some fantastic opportunities over the past five years and have been privileged to sing at some amazing venues, we remain focused on our local community and providing support for local people, especially those affected by military life. One of the ways we do this is by choosing a charity to support each year and performing at a charity event to raise money for them. This year our chosen charity is the Northallerton based charity Fun With Autism (FWA) and we chose this particular charity as it has been invaluable to one of our ladies and her family whilst her son has been undergoing assessment for Autism. We also have a number of ladies whose children have Autism or other 'hidden' disabilities so FWA was an obvious choice for us.
The majority of the fundraising for the charity came from our concert on 9th May 2015 at Northallerton Methodist Church. Whilst the concert was organised by the church themselves, they asked us to nominate a charity to benefit from the proceeds and we waived our usual fee that would normally go in to the choir's funds. It was a fantastic evening with a warm and welcoming audience; the repertoire that night included music from Andrew Lloyd Weber, Sister Act and Coldplay and the ladies were given a break whilst two soloists took to the stage. Choir member Hannah Illingworth took the opportunity to explain to the audience about the needs of children with autism and how FWA has supported her family through a difficult and challenging time. We have since heard from FWA that the Church has done some further fundraising for them which is a fantastic boost to the charity as their funding from other sources has recently been cut.
The remainder of the donation came from funds raised by the choir from the joint concert in June with Bolsterstone and Worrall Male Voice Choirs.
FWA is open to any families in the local area affected by autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD or other ‘hidden disabilities’, with or without a specific diagnosis. It provides a haven for parents enabling the children to run around and socialise with no need to worry about meltdowns, tantrums or sensory issues. Further information can be found on their website www.funwithautism.co.uk