Autism is in the spotlight

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Stars of Emmerdale and children have been playing their part in World Autism Awareness Week.

To mark the week, which runs until April 2, both the cast of Emmerdale and pupils at Rose Court nursery and pre-prep school in Headingley are donating clothes to raise funds for Lighthouse School in Leeds, for young people on the autism spectrum.

Their clothing will be sold in the pre-loved section of Keepers Coffee and Kitchen, a social enterprise café and gift shop in Cookridge run by Lighthouse Futures Trust, which partners with special schools and colleges to offer employment opportunities for young adults with autistic spectrum condition or learning difficulties.

Two of the Emmerdale cast were on hand at Rose Court, which is part of The Grammar School at Leeds, this week to help pupils get the clothes ready for delivery to the café.

Gillian Kearney, who plays Emma Barton in the soap, was joined by Charley Webb who plays Debbie Dingle.

Gillian said: “Everyone at Emmerdale is keen to get on board and donate items to support Lighthouse School in the fantastic work it does for children and the community.”

Lighthouse Futures Trust raises funds to provide resources, facilities, and increase employment opportunities for young people with autistic spectrum condition and learning difficulties in Leeds.

Caron Munro, development and programme manager at the charity, said: “In World Autism Awareness Week we want to highlight the potential of our young people. We are grateful to Rose Court pupils and to the cast of Emmerdale for helping us raise both awareness and funds to keep our important work going. The donations have a real impact on our fundraising for the charity.”