Group of Spectrum Night Walk participants in Glasgow


Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, marked World Autism Awareness Week by opening our Spectrum Night Walk in Glasgow City Centre on Saturday night (6 April).

The sponsored walk took place in five locations across the UK, raising more than £74,000 in vital funds.

More than 90 passionate walkers took part in the Glasgow event, gathering at the city’s Hallmark Hotel to see Councillor Aitken cut the ribbon and officially open the walk. They then followed a route that passed the Gallery of Modern Art, the twinkling lights of Royal Exchange Square, the Clyde Arc, the iconic Finnieston Crane, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Around 58,000 people in Scotland are autistic.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow has taken great strides in recent years to become a more autism-friendly city, where everyone feels comfortable using the services and attractions that make it such a great place to be.

“I’m immensely proud for example that Glasgow Film Theatre was the first cinema in the UK to achieve the National Autistic Society Scotland’s Autism Friendly Award and that the autism-friendly facility at Ibrox Stadium has set the standard for similar facilities at stadiums throughout the UK.

From hotels through to transport hubs and shopping centres, agencies and businesses across this city are becoming more aware of the needs of autistic citizens.

“I hope more attractions and public places will make adjustments in order to become more accessible to autistic people and ensure our city is one where everyone feels comfortable, included and welcomed.”

Research by the National Autistic Society Scotland found that although 99.5% of people have heard of autism, just 16% of autistic people think it is understood in a meaningful way. The charity wants to close the gap between awareness and understanding so that Scotland can become a more autism-friendly nation.

Jo Hamilton, head of campaigns at the National Autistic Society Scotland said: “I’m so pleased that Councillor Aitken opened our sponsored walk. There was a really special atmosphere before our walkers crossed the start and finish lines – even the temperamental Scottish weather didn’t dampen their high spirits!"

Vist the National Autistic Society Scotland webpage to find out more.

Find out more about NAS Scotland