Hopwood Hall College students work with education professionals in Autism awareness campaign

Date published: 30 October 2017

Hopwood Hall College students became autism awareness ambassadors by helping parents/carers and professionals at Rochdale’s Autism Conference.

The students, who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition themselves, gave a dramatic performance and shared personal experiences with the packed conference audience to raise greater understanding and awareness around working with individuals with autism.

The conference, held at Rochdale’s Number One Riverside, featured parents/carers and school and college representatives from around the borough, as well as specialist guest speakers from across the nation.

William Baron, Sam Timperley, Elliot Bye and Rebekah Price were amongst the students from Hopwood Hall College performed for the audience, whilst Blaine Bennett displayed and talked about his artwork inspired by his life experiences.

Julie Dalton, Autism Lead at Rochdale Additional Needs Service for Rochdale Council for Rochdale Council, was full of praise for the brave students, she said: “The students were absolutely fantastic. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

“It was inspiring to so many to hear their views. The play was great, followed by openly discussing what it was like for them having a autism spectrum condition. The question and answer slot was so well managed too, their answers were profound.

“We were impressed by Blaine and his art work too. I actually knew him when he was in primary school and he has come so far.

"It was brilliant for parents to see such positivity and that there can be light at the end of what must be a dark tunnel at times.”

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.