The Independent London Newspaper
22nd September 2018

London Medical Orchestra pulls strings for autism charity

    Violinist Rachel Dixon with members of the amateur London Medical Orchestra set

    Violinist Rachel Dixon with members of the amateur London Medical Orchestra set up by refugee doctors

    Published: June 18, 2014

    THE London Medical Orchestra’s 60th anniversary classical concert is raising funds for the National Autistic Society (NAS) this year at the request of one of its violinists. 

    Rachel Dixon, 47, has chosen the charity in thanks for the support they have given her 10-year-old son over the years. Michael has been going to the specialist Bridge School in Tufnell Park since he was three years old.

    The London Medical Orchestra is an amateur group of musicians – originally set up by refugee doctors – which raises money for medically related charities. Fifty musicians have been rehearsing ahead of the concert in St Mary Brookfield Church, Canonbury, on June 29.

    Ms Dixon, a solicitor who lives in Highbury, said: “The orchestra has raised thousands of pounds for medical charities over the years and is delighted to be supporting the NAS and playing some of our favourite music in such a grand venue.

    “But as well as being a lot of fun and raising vital funds, it’s also a chance to increase understanding of autism among the local community. Autism affects more than 1 in 100 people in the UK, yet misconceptions about the condition are still far too common. More needs to be done if my son and other people affected by autism are to reach their full potential. Under­standing and support can make all the difference.”

    Autism affects the way a person communicates with and relates to others, as well as how they see the world. Asperger syndrome is a form of autism where people have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with under­standing and processing language. Ms Dixon’s son Michael is highly sensitive to loud noises and has high anxiety.

    Dave Boorman, fundraising chief at the NAS, said: “It’s always humbling to see the determination and hard work that NAS supporters like Rachel and everyone involved in the London Medical Orchestra put into creating a better world for people with autism. With­out fund­raising events like this, we wouldn’t be able to continue our work support­ing people affected by the disability and helping them to lead the life they choose.”

    l The LMO concert is on Sunday, June 29, 6pm, at the Church of St Mary Brookfield, Dartmouth Park Hill, NW5 1SD. Tickets (£12, £8 conces­sions, £2 for under-16s) at


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