Friends can be an incredibly important part of our lives. They are the people we share experiences with, who support us in happy and hard times and can boost our confidence. This World Friendship Day we are celebrating the friendship of 10 year old schoolgirl Violet-eve Harris and her three friends from Bournemouth. Working together they took on a challenge to raise awareness of autism and funds for our 50th Birthday year.
The idea for the challenge came from Violet-eve Harris. 10 year old Violet-eve has autism and it was during diagnosis that she said to her Mum Samantha that she “wanted to do something to help others to realise that autism isn’t strange, it’s just a different way of thinking and using your brain”. She wanted to challenge the misconceptions held by some people about what it means to have autism.
A popular young girl, Violet-eve has many friends. For the fundraising challenge she asked friends Poppy, Evie and Lily from Muscliff Primary School if they would join her in holding a charity bake sale. They worked together to bake cakes and then sold them at a local nursery, wearing t-shirts designed by Violet-eve. The t-shirts read “I see your true colours shining through”.
Mum Samantha said; “Violet-eve and her friends worked really well together to make the event a great success. Initially when a lot of people came over to the cake stall, I could see that Violet-eve felt a bit overwhelmed. Her friends were brilliant though and stepped in to sell the cakes and talk to parents. With their support, Violet-eve felt increasingly confident and was soon happy to get fully involved. Together they raised a fantastic £644.07 for Autism Wessex.”
Samantha continues; “Violet-eve faces challenges every day but she doesn’t let them hold her back. Her friends are incredibly supportive and simply accept her for who she is. It was lovely to see how they all came together and worked as a team. Their support on the day, and every day, is so important to Violet-eve. She is proud of who she is and, together with Poppy, Evie and Lily, wants to encourage other children with autism to feel the same.
Siún Cranny, CEO said; “Violet-eve and her three friends are remarkable young girls. What they have achieved together is a true testament to their friendship and I have no doubt that they will inspire other young people with autism. We know that building friendships can have a hugely positive effect on self-esteem and wellbeing, which is why reducing social isolation and creating opportunities for people with autism to meet is also a really important part of the work we do. We run free weekly Skills & Social Groups in Bournemouth and Dorchester to give people with autism the chance to meet in a relaxed and supportive environment. These groups are, however, entirely reliant on voluntary donations to run and it is only thanks to the great efforts of fundraisers like Violet-eve, Poppy, Evie and Lily that we can continue to provide this important service.”
To support Violet-eve and her friends’ fundraising efforts, you can donate by clicking here.
This year we are celebrating our 50th Birthday. As part of our celebrations we are inviting people to come along to our Family Fun Day on Saturday 25th August at Portfield School in Christchurch. Starting at 2.30pm there will be an afternoon of food, drink, entertainment and games.
Or do you fancy joining TEAM50 and challenging yourself to raise funds and awareness for Autism Wessex?