Why Sunderland landmarks will turn golden this week

Sunderland landmarks are set to be turned to gold as part of a campaign for autism acceptance.

By Sophie Brownson
Monday, 01 April, 2019, 06:00
Penshaw Monument is one of the landmarks that will be lit up as part of the week.

Today the North East Autism Society has kicked off its autism acceptance week, which centres on the theme ‘Going for Gold’ – with some of Wearside’s most iconic landmarks joining in.

Running until Sunday, April 7, the week will see Penshaw Monument, Seaburn Lighthouse, the Northern Spire Bridge, in Sunderland, Market Square, Sunderland, and Durham Fire HQ bathing their buildings in a golden hue in support of autism acceptance.

More than 40 schools have also pledged their support, signing up for awareness workshops, fundraising activities and acceptance promotion.

And NEAS has even created the world’s first gold- coloured infinity loop awareness ribbon and has a growing list of businesses and organisations pledging to take part in gold-themed activities.

The colour has been chosen because it is associated with success and achievement.

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The Going for Gold theme is a new take on how autism is viewed and celebrated within our region, and in our nation.

Rather than the language of deficits or disability, the society wants autism and neurodiversity to be celebrated and accepted; to be seen and understood in a positive light.

Chief Executive of the North East Autism Society, John Phillipson, said: “We’ve been providing services for autistic children, young people and adults in the North East for close to 40 years.

“It’s time we moved from awareness to a new standard – a gold standard – of acceptance and celebration.”