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The alternative to Glastonbury

GlastonburyMAINIT MAY not quite be up to Glastonbury but the FIRST ever music festival for people with a learning disability and autism, their families and carers is going to take the New Forest by storm this summer.

More than 40 live acts have signed up for the three-day event, taking place at Lyndhurst from Friday to Sunday July 10-12.

The festival will host two stages, a dance tent and a sensory area, as well a circus school, swing dance classes, a zip wire and a large camp site.

The whole festival is 100% wheelchair friendly, say the organising charities, The Minstead Training Trust and Stables Family Home Trust who provide care and support to over 250 adults with a learning disability in the area.

A three-day ticket, including camping, costs £120, with a one-day ticket £80.

Email, or call 07593 996 931.

A FUNDRAISING concert showcasing performers who are on the autistic spectrum takes place at the Z Arts Centre, Manchester on September 12.

Sonja Malpeli, from the Stepping Stones Across the Spectrum group, said: “This is our second annual concert. “Last year we held a very successful autumn ball at The Last Drop Village Hotel and Spa, Bolton, where all of the performers, including the photographer, were on the autistic spectrum.

“The ball raised over £6,000, which enabled us to donate £3,100 to The Heroes Project, £3,100 to Halton Autistic Family Support, and a further £100 to Ruby’s Fund.

“As a mother of three adults who are all on different ends of the spectrum, I am very aware of how autism impacts not only on the person themselves, but on the whole family – and how services dwindle away when children become adults.”

The group has just set up a monthly social night – first Tuesday of the month, at the Walkden Gateway Centre, Smith Street, Worsley, Manchester.

Contact Sonja, tel 07976 896351

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