On, Friday the London School of Management Education (LSME) celebrated the end of Autism Acceptance Week, 27 March – 2 April 2023. All the students and staff of the college dressed differently and wore very different from what they would normally wear to college. There were variations in colours, styles, patterns, and mismatched accessories and importantly, they tried to stick out as being the odd one in the crowd. The ‘Dare to be Different’ day, at LSME turned out to be one to remember. There were games, a fashion show and plenty of prizes to be won. This event marks the end of a week-long ‘Dare to be Different’ activities and fundraising in the individual classes.
But before the start of the event, there were talks on why LSME is marking the Autism Acceptance Week culminating in this event. It was emphasised that by engaging in the event,everyone should learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder and take home the message that being different is not an abnormality. We need to understand why people with autism or those with neurodiverse conditions may act, behave and dress differently and accept them as part of our society.
LSME conducted this event in collaboration with Sycamore Trust,which is a charity serving threeEast London boroughs; namely, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, supporting persons in the Autism Spectrum Disorder of all ages and their families. This event forms part of the activities organised by the Sycamore Trust to increase awareness of autism and raise funds to aid their work in the community.
LSME students and staff, through their activities, raised a substantial sum as a donation to the Sycamore Trust. The students were able to double the fun of the event by clubbing it with their end-of-the-term party, which turned out to be another joyous celebration. All who participated in the event agreed that they have been enriched in their knowledge about autism and felt it was very rewarding to be able to contribute to the noble cause.