Sunderland Empire Theatre wins new awards and new hearts with autism friendly performances.

The team at the Autism and Neurodiversity Academy (ANDA) has been working in partnership with the Sunderland Empire for over four years. What started as a small initial consultation became a rewarding working relationship with ANDA now serving as their go to consultancy service on their autism friendly offer.

Working together ANDA and the Sunderland Empire Theatre have been able to successfully plan and deliver four relaxed pantomimes, bringing the culture and arts sector to individuals who may not have had chance to experience this before.

The consultancy services from the Autism and Neurodiversity Academy have allowed The Theatre to embed high quality autism practice into everything they do. For example in 2015 they launched a autism specific family learning project with The National Theatre and their acclaimed production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night.

The ground-breaking work with the Sunderland Empire Theatre has acted as a springboard to work with other local theatres across the region, and contributed to the publication of the ANDA autism friendly theatre guide.

Finally, The Sunderland Empire Theatre were recently given an award for Inspirational Education provision at the 2017 autism professional’s awards.

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Public & Charity Sector Testimonials

“The interactive nature of the training, and the fact that it was really relevant to my role specifically, made this so worthwhile.”  Sunderland City Council


“The Autism and Neurodiversity training is the best I have had in five years in my department.”

Department of Work and Pensions


“This course was really interesting and challenging and will definitely change my practice.”  Sure Start Sunderland


“The training was bespoke to our client group and was able to give advice and explanations to guide and help us work more effectively with our service users… we had lightbulb moments that have directly improved our working practice.”  Henshaws Housing and Support

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ANDA, Unit 15, Lumley Court, Drum Industrial Estate, Chester-le-Street,  County Durham, DH2 1AN


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