Downton Abbey star Sophie McShera to open Doncaster autism gallery

Sophie McShera
Sophie McShera

Sophie McShera who plays humble assistant cook Daisy Mason in the Golden Globe winning ITV show Downton Abbey is set to open The Artspace in Thorne next month.

The Artspace is home to Artistic Spectrum, a social enterprise specialising in art as therapy for people with autism.

The organisation has recently been awarded a National Lottery Grant to work with Autistic People in South Yorkshire.

Project leader Emma Wilson said, “We are delighted to announce that Sophie will be coming to open the Artspace. Her involvement helps us in our efforts to shine a light on autism which according to recent figures affects up to 1 in 50 people.”

The official opening takes place between 5pm and 7pm on Friday, January 10 2014.

Actress Sophie has just wrapped for Disney’s new movie “Cinderella”, directed by Kenneth Brannagh.

She said: “The work Emma is doing with autistic people really helps autistic people to communicate and feel part of the wider world. My cousin has autism so it is a cause very close to my heart.”

Tony Appleton from Doncaster CVS’s Social Enterprise Development Team added: “I’ve mentored Emma for over a year now and I’m delighted to see that such a high profile figure is supporting Emma’s fantastic venture in this way – I’m really looking forward to the opening!”

Artistic Spectrum was established in 2013 to provide art therapy sessions that allow people who have autism to have a sense of self-development, and offers them an outlet to express themselves. Therapy through art can improve handgrip and coordination of motor skills, improved hand eye coordination as well as increased stimulation of visual, tactile and receptual sensors. It can also enable people with autism to release their emotions.

For more information please visit, and @artispectrum on Twitter