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New funding for Verve project for young people with Asperger's Syndrome

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A generous donation from Jimbo's Fund, a fund set up by the late Leeds businessman and philanthropist Jimi Heselden, has enabled creative young people aged 10-15 with Asperger’s Syndrome to access a series of tailored workshops run by Opera North.

The donation of £19,000 has provided funding for two groups of young people from Leeds with Asperger’s Syndrome, an autistic spectrum disorder, to take part in Verve creative workshops at Opera North from January to March 2012.

The workshops include a range of creative disciplines including movement, narrative, song, composition, set and costume design, with the aim of raising self-esteem and levels of confidence as well as communication and social skills. The young people taking part are working with a director, composer, designer and singer to create a devised piece of musical theatre that will be presented to family and invited guests at the end of the project.

Opera North has been delivering annual projects for young people with Asperger’s Syndrome in Leeds since 2004, to great acclaim from participants, parents and clinicians. Many young people go on to take part in other Opera North education projects following participation in Verve.

Find out more about Opera North education projects: http://www.operanorth.co.uk/education

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