Variety children's charity gives local kids a helping hand

Lakeside School student Braydon Jennison, 17.

Lakeside School student Braydon Jennison, 17.

DRAWING is one of the only things that will soothe Speers Point teen Braydon Jennison when he is irritated.

The 16-year-old was born with an intellectual disability and later diagnosed with autism, Tourette Syndrome and bipolar disorder.

While the diagnoses were initially a setback for Braydon and his family, when he was eight-years-old they discovered his heightened senses could be channelled into drawing.

His artistic abilities were developed to help him to express himself and connect with others.

Last week, the Lakeside School student and Charlestown's Connor Wink were formally awarded a Variety Future Kids Scholarship at the 23rd annual Variety NSW AHA Bash at Wests Leagues Club, New Lambton.

On Saturday about 250 guests celebrated the return of Variety's colourful convoy, which finished its 2472-kilometre trip to 13 towns across regional NSW to donate money to sick and disadvantaged kids.

This year, $100,000 in scholarships was awarded by bashers to 38 children.

Braydon's scholarship will help fund an art tutor to visit his school twice a week to work with him individually.

Having received the funding last term, the pair have already created a number of sketches, sculptures and oil paintings.

Braydon's mother Tracey Power said the funding had been invaluable.

"We are very grateful for the scholarship," Ms Power said.

"[Braydon] hasn't got many interests, this is his only hobby. It helps him to relax; sometimes we go through an art book a day."

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