Autism Anglia has been chosen to feature in a project that uses art to create discussions about neurodiversity and peoples personal experiences.

The project will feature local artists and celebrities creating artworks together while discussing their personal journeys. Detailing the history of neurodiversity and diagnosis, alongside the in-depth stories of each celebrity involved.

The project was created by Alice Nicholls, a local artist who was inspired to create the project when she received a late diagnosis of autism in lockdown. She approached the charity as it had supported her and her family.

Alice said:

I have received endless support from Autism Anglia at a time my son has struggled and been let down by the school system. It is so important for me to give something back.

Pictured above: Alice Nicholls

Following her diagnosis, Alice started her Masters Degree in Fine Art and found the outlet she needed to explore what autism meant for her. Having seen the increased number of people in the media discovering themselves through late diagnosis, Alice wanted to give more people the opportunity to speak of their experiences in a comfortable way and showing their stories through beautiful artwork.

It was a breakthrough for me to receive my diagnosis, from there I learned to be much kinder to myself and discover who I really am. I am now excited to hear the journeys of others and see how their diagnosis has influenced their direction.

I hope to grow the project over time, involving more people and stories to get the biggest reach possible and then display the artwork in a luxury gallery for all to see.

Autism Anglia is a regional charity that supports children and adults with autism and their families through a range of services including Residential and Supported Living, Outreach services, Doucecroft school, Advocacy and more.

Kate Hancock, chief executive at Autism Anglia said:

Art plays a huge part of the lives of the people we support here at Autism Anglia.

Our Opportunity Centre’s in Colchester, Essex and Dereham, Norfolk have dedicated art rooms for the adults we support, many students at Doucecroft school thoroughly enjoy art and our North-East Essex Advocacy team hold art journaling workshops.  The artwork that comes out of all of these is incredible.

Art can have such a positive effect. Creative art therapies are often a natural fit for autistic people, it can be a great way for individuals to express themselves without having to verbalise or explain how they are feeling emotionally. It can also help with stress relief, provide great enjoyment, and highlight incredible skills. There are some very talented autistic individuals and art really does give them a platform to showcase and thrive.

We are very grateful to Alice for choosing to support our charity through this project and for the chance to improve understanding and acceptance of autism while highlighting the vital work of the charity.

You can find out more about the project on Instragram, Twitter and TikTok