Special day for Kenneth

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An autistic youngster helped Princess Anne unveil a memorial plaque and was able to show her how important a vital charity is to his life.

Airth teenager Kenneth Forbes (18), who is on the autistic spectrum, has been attending the Camphill Blair Drummond facility since last September and his self-confidence has never been higher.

The Princess Royal visited the Stirling charity recently to unveil the plaque, which commemorates her visit to the premises, with Kenneth’s help and then take a tour of the charity’s new workshops.

Camphill provides a community life for young people with learning disabilities, allowing youngsters from all over Scotland to live and work together in a warm, friendly and supportive background.

Kenneth’s condition, which was diagnosed when he was four, causes him to become very repetitive and gives him very sensitive hearing. On some occasions he has to wear ear pods to muffle noises which cause him stress.

Proud mum Bronwen said: “He was really looking forward to the Princess Royal’s visit and he knew it was a special day for him and Camphill Blair Drummond. It was lovely for him to be involved in such an important part of it.”

Elsie Riley, fundraising manager, said: “We were honoured to welcome the Princess Royal to Camphill. This was a very special occasion for our residents and staff and everyone thoroughly enjoyed her visit.

“She was very eager to learn about the work of the charity and meet and talk to the young people. We are also thrilled she has given her support to our redevelopment plans and public appeal.”

The success of Camphill means youngsters like Kenneth will continue to prosper.

Bronwen said: “The minute Kenneth saw the state-of-the-art facilities he was sold. He sat down immediately and tried to log on to one of the PCs.

“That speaks volumes about how comfortable he must have felt.”

Kenneth was offered a place at Camphill three days a week and now takes part in a host of activities, including craft and woodwork classes and also sings in the Camphill Choir.

Bronwen said: “Camphill has definitely worked its magic on my son. His days are full and he’s up and ready, waiting for his taxi ride. He has met so many different people and seems to be embracing all that Camphill has to offer.”