A NEW foot-high sandstone statue will be unveiled at Hanbury Hall tomorrow as part of a scheme to recognise ‘extraordinary living women’.
The project is being held as part of Heritage Open Day and to commemorate the centenary of women first getting the vote – the Universal Suffrage Act.
The National Trust, which owns Hanbury Hall, asked for nominations of women undertaking extraordinary work in their communities.
It received hundreds of entries and from them 25 were chosen.
There are 900 statues in the UK and of the non-mythical, non-religious or non-royal, only 25 of them are women.
The NT wanted to double that amount which is why it selected the number it did.
At Hanbury will be a statue of Carly Jayne Jones MBE who has been a tireless campaigner on the subject of autism in women and girls.
Up until the mid-2000s it was thought autism was only present in boys and did not occur in girls.
In 2008, at the age of 32, Carly herself was diagnosed with autism which, she said, explained a lot about her life up until then.
“When I read up online about autism in women and girls, which is often different to the way it shows in boys, it was almost as if someone had documented my life to that point.”
Two of Carly’s three daughters have also been diagnosed with autism.
Carly has been all over the world talking about autism in women and girls and, as she calls it: ‘spreading some autistic girl power’.
She was the first British autistic woman to speak at the UN in 2014 and developed and introduced the first Boundaries, Bodies, Abuse and Reporting it for Autistic Girls safeguarding course.
It is thought 91 per cent of autistic adults suffer some sort of verbal, physical or sexual abuse or harassment before they are diagnosed.
The course helps them recognise different forms of abuse, enabling them to report it.
“The key is autistic women and girls are incredibly vulnerable and the safeguarding course helps address that.
“Overall we still have a long way to go but we have made great strides and it is a lot better now than it was in the 2000s.”
On being immortalised in sandstone she said: “I couldn’t believe I had been chosen and my next thought was ‘I should have gone to the gym’.
“Hanbury Hall is an absolutely stunning building and this will hopefully help raise awareness of autism in women and girls throughout the Midlands.”
The statue of Carly, who received the MBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours for services to autism, will be unveiled at 3pm.