It seems nothing can stand in the way of two friends from Jedburgh who are campaigning to raise awareness of autism and Aspergers and money for BAAGS, the Galashiels-based charity supporting children and young people who live with the condition.
For Dawn Jackson and Sara Farquharson have been working tirelessly to arrange events in and around Jedburgh and are hoping to raise more than £5,000 for the charity in the months ahead
Dawn, 34, whose son Cory, four, was recently diagnosed as autistic, told us: “Since Cory’s diagnosis, we have spent a lot of time and effort trying to figure out and put into place as much help and support as possible to help make his and our lives as happy and easy as possible.
“We’ve been and are going through so many emotions and we want to be as positive and pro-active as we can. So my mission is to help raise money for something which is obviously dear to our hearts.”
“Autism can show itself in so many ways. In fact the autistic spectrum is so broad some say every one of us has autistic traits. Whether it be the need for routine in our lives or simply a noise, a feeling or a texture; we can all find it hard to cope, although Cory’s autism is now controlling him.”
Dawn explained that Cory gets very panicky if his routine is changed and the feeling of not understanding why the world is not as he thought it was makes him confused, frustrated and scared.
He also has sensory issues, with sensitivity to certain pitches of sound.
“Sounds to him can be magnified 10 times,” said Dawn. “Can you imagine that every day, all day? He also has speech delay which affects his communication and he has eating issues, all caused by his autism.
“These are just a few of the hurdles Cory has to tackle in his day and that is what has made us so determined to help other people with this condition who need as much support as possible.”
Cory’s struggles have inspired Dawn and her close friend Sara, 27, who is a childminder, to create a special Facebook site – The World According to Cory – which has the sole purpose of benefiting the Borders Aspergers and Autism Group Support (BAAGS).
On the site now are details of four key fundraising events the pair are organising.
“We have planned a family fun day, an Ann Summers day, a dinner dance and auction and a ladies’ shopping night.” Sara said. “We have worked hard to make sure we can keep the set-up costs as low as possible for all of the events so we can raise as much as possible.
“This has been made easier by the wonderfully generous donations made by Geoff Adam of RP Adam, Selkirk and Starrett of Jedburgh. Their donations have gone a long way to making sure the dinner dance is a huge success as some of our bigger costs are now taken care of.”
The Ann Summers ladies’ day on July 16 and family fun day on August 14 will be held in Dawn’s home just outside Jedburgh. The dinner dance and auction will be in Jedburgh Town Hall on Saturday, October 8 with a live band. Tickets are £15 per person.
“We’ll have a professional auctioneer to host the auction and at the moment we are looking for donations of lots to sell,” said Dawn.
“I’m so grateful for all the help, support and encouragement we have received so far. Without this, all our efforts would be pointless so it really does mean the world to me.”
The shopping night will take place at Glendouglas Village Hall in November, with the date to be confirmed.
For further information about BAAGS, contact 01896 668961, or visit www.baags.co.uk
To find our more about The World According To Cory and any of the planned events, contact Dawn on 07786 633 673 or visit www.theworldaccordingtocory.webs.com