Cornwall NHS workers behind new song to promote autism acceptance

NHS colleague David Kirwan standing in front of The Hugs Foundation sign, along with charity worker Hazel

A new song has been released to mark World Autism Acceptance Week, and it is the brainchild of 2 autistic NHS colleagues in Cornwall.

Ian Summers, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and David Kirwan, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust are the driving force behind 'Welcome Home'.

David says the idea came from a simple conversation about how to promote autism acceptance and grew from there:

"Everyone involved gave their time freely, because we believe in supporting positive change. This idea of an uplifting, hopeful and positive song was really what we wanted. That is what happened and that is amazing.

"The takeaway is that there is hope and that inclusion is important. My biggest thing that I really do love in all areas I work in is language. The change in language from the things we struggle with and the challenges we face, to hope and heading forward. The title of the song is 'Welcome Home'. The lyrics are that you have arrived, you are home again, welcome home. You are with the people who understand you. It is about understanding and it is wider than just the autistic community, it is inclusion for everyone. Inclusion is where my heart and soul is".

Singer Lucy Cox behind a microphone while recording the ‘Welcome Home’ autism song.

The song was written and voiced by confidence specialist and local singer Lucy Cox, using language shared by the Trusts' autism and neurodiversity networks.

Lucy is a parent of autistic children and tells us that as soon as she heard the idea, she was "in with both feet":

"It is important that people really listen to the lyrics of this song. For those people who do not directly understand the autistic experience, try to empathise with how it must feel to believe you do not fit in and there is not a place for you, but also to feel like there is a hope for the future.

"To our wonderful autistic community, I want them to listen to the lyrics and feel that sense of hope. To believe there is so much more good stuff ahead, and to feel heard and seen".


Hazel from The Hugs Foundation feeding one of the charity’s horses

All money raised from the release of the song will go towards The Hugs Foundation. The equine rescue charity is based in Bodmin. It provides wellbeing support to a range of people, including children and young people.

Hazel is the charity's Youth Service Manager. She tells us any money raised will make an amazing difference to all those the team support:

"We have helped over 700 children here at the charity and we hope to be able to continue to deliver that. Because we are a charity, we cannot do that without support. This song means so much to the charity and we are so excited.

"The song is absolutely amazing. When we all first listened to it, we were just frozen to our seats really. Realising how much it resonated with everybody in the Hugs team, we know it is going to mean so much to so many".

'Welcome Home' is now available on Spotify. Listen to the song on Spotify.

Lucy has also set up a fundraiser on Just Giving, in support of The Hugs Foundation. Read more about the fundraiser

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