Wigan man raises autism awareness through music
Kieran Gallagher, 20, stage name Karate Galactic, has recorded the single Definition of Autism which is available to buy in online music stores to in aid of autism charities and to celebrate World Autism Week which starts today.
Kieran, pictured, said: “I was inspired to write a song about autism after the success of Wigan Warriors’ charity single.
“The single isn’t just about raising awareness of autism; it’s about the world moving from awareness to acceptance and accommodation. I want everyone with autism to be able to access what they need.
“I think music is the way to do this because I love the way it brings people together, it’s a powerful way to communicate a message.”
Kieran, who has always had a passion for music, shared his idea with Daniel Dowd, engagement officer at Wigan Council, who supported him to approach Wigan Youth Zone, where the single was produced. The single also features the vocals of 12-year-old Georgia Linde, also from Wigan.
Nikki Varley, youth arts manager at Wigan Youth Zone, said: “Georgia heard about Kieran’s project and she wanted to get involved because autism is a subject she’s really passionate about too. Both of the young people worked really hard and were so dedicated to the project and everyone is really impressed with the results.”
The charity single costs 99p and all money raised will go to the National Autistic Society.
Kieran added: “Dan brought me to Wigan Youth Zone and that’s where the song came to life. My dream now is to get it in the charts so that the message about autism can be heard everywhere.”
Wigan’s ambition is to become one of the first autism-friendly towns in the UK.
Throughout next week there will be events and activities across the borough to raise awareness of the
Wigan and Leigh markets and all leisure centre sites will be having “quiet hours” where the music volume will be turned down and lighting reduced.
There will also be the chance to find out about how to become an ‘Autism Friend’ at Wigan and Leigh libraries.
James Winterbottom, director of children’s services, said: “It is our ambition to make Wigan borough the first autism-friendly borough in the country. Through our close work with many children and adults with autism we are very aware of the amazing gifts and talents they have as well as some of the difficulties they encounter living in our borough.
“We believe these can be addressed through increased awareness, acceptance and by public services and private businesses making practical changes to their services. Offering a ‘quiet hour’ is one of the simple but significant examples of that.”