We are only limited by our facilities, not by our ambitions.

Involving our young people in the arts is a crucial part of our approach to learning. Up to 80% of young people at Prior’s Court are pre-verbal and our arts provision offers a powerful means of communicating needs, expressions and feelings, whatever their background or ability.

We have a strong track record of helping our young people achieve things beyond imagination through our arts provision - from writing our own anthem for autism Let Me Shine, re-recording the song at the historic Abbey Road Studios, and staging on-site music festivals. Our young people’s lives have been greatly enriched by these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Our current on-site performing arts space limits the number of young people we are able to involve in performing arts, the size of audiences and the scope and nature of the projects we can deliver. While there is a lack of purpose-built theatrical spaces to support the needs of young people with complex autism. We need to change this – now!

We are seeking funding for an innovative and ground-breaking performing arts centre – a bespoke on-site facility to help transform the lives of young people with complex autism, both at Prior's Court and in the wider community.

We are asking for your support in helping us to fund the transformational Let Me Shine Performing Arts Centre, and help young people with complex autism to build brighter, more independent futures.

Donate to our Performing Arts Centre appeal

Impact

The Let Me Shine Performing Arts Centre will help young people with complex autism to flourish, give them the environment they need to make full use of their creativity and to achieve things their families never thought possible. Tailored facilities will ensure barriers to involvement are removed, learning opportunities are maximised, and support young people both at Prior's Court and beyond to gain vital skills to help them in later life.

Artists render of the external building

Image: Artist's render of the Let Me Shine Performing Arts Centre

  • Increase the number of young people with autism (both from within and without Prior's Court) accessing and engaging with our performing arts programme.
  • Deliver improvements in young people’s communication, wellbeing, and learning outcomes.
  • Increase the number of young people with complex autism accessing external arts facilities and spaces.
  • Enable us to share our outcomes and successes with other SEN schools, helping to inform and enhance practices for those providing specialist arts education to young people with autism.
  • Help mainstream theatres and performing arts spaces to better understand the needs of people with complex autism by sharing our learnings, resulting in increased and improved access to facilities for the wider population.

Features of the new performing arts space

Image: Proposed floor plan for the Let Me Shine Performing Arts Centre

The Let Me Shine Performing Arts Centre would provide a wealth of crucial research opportunities around autism and the arts. Combined with the comprehensive data collection that the Prior Insight system provides, the centre has the potential to drive life-altering research around people with autism engaging with the arts, with young people at Prior’s Court playing an active role
Dr Laura Crane - Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), University College London Institute of Education

How you can help

We need your help to create the Let Me Shine Performing Arts Centre at Prior’s Court. 

By supporting this ground-breaking facility, you are helping young people with complex autism meet their full potential and lead healthier, happier and more independent lives. 

Download our Case for Support booklet

For further information or to support this project, please contact our fundraising team on 01635 247202 or email [email protected] 

Donate to our Performing Arts Centre appeal