A Consett photographer is working with a local school to help raise awareness of autism.

Maddy Ashworth and Villa Real School have collaborated on An Eye Into Autism – a two-part project using conceptual visual art, photography and text in an exhibition to encourage acceptance of autism through exploring the internal worlds of children and young people.

Maddy, who owns and runs M Photography NCL, saw an opportunity to develop this project through eye-opening photography and design in partnership with the school, which itself is committed to improving acceptance of all people with autism within the local community.

The exhibition was launched on Monday at Villa Real to coincide with Autism Awareness Week.

Drawing on her experience as a lifestyle photographer and graphic designer, Maddy has impacted the children who have autism and allowed them to express their uniqueness and personalities through the use of visual media. The business, which predominantly offers photography services, captures its customers’ precious moments in the comfort of their homes, or within a location of their choice.

M Photography NCL

Examples of Maddy’s work with the children (© M Photography NCL)

Maddy, who has worked on a number of creative projects for local businesses including Elmtronics, Essential Interiors and QLodges at Slaley Hall, said: “I am looking to expand my business relationships with other local schools in the area and companies who could capitalise on using my commercial products and services. I provide a unique, personable and professional experience to my customers.’’

Jill Bowe, Headteacher of Villa Real School said: “ This project is part of our ongoing commitment to raising understanding and acceptance of all people with Autism.

“We are also working in partnership with Durham police to develop the ‘Jack’ protocol to support officers who have autism and the experience of people with autism have when liaising with the police.’’