30 Under 30: Naomi Gwynne

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Naomi Gwynne, 9, South Lanarkshire

Naomi is a passionate campaigner for inclusivity and supporting people with complex additional needs. She is autistic and knows first-hand that sometimes there is a shortfall in public services provision for young people and adults with autism.

She is also fiercely protective of her brother, Isaac, who is also autistic and visually impaired due to a brain tumour, and has severe learning difficulties and NF1 disorder. She is what her mum, Miriam, calls a ‘hidden young carer’ – supporting her brother emotionally and physically every day.

And she’s also only 9, as of this Tuesday (Happy Birthday Naomi!).

This year has been really eventful for Naomi. She campaigned to South Lanarkshire Council to install a new accessible swing in a park near her home, so that Isaac could also use it. In her touching letter that was shared widely on social media she wrote:

“I like the new park but please could you make a disabled swing for it? Isaac my twin brother is too big for a baby swing but can’t hold on to the bars of the grown up swings.¬† His favourite thing is a swing and we are both sad. Why did you forget about him? I have drawn a swing he would like. Thank you.”

And so a new swing was installed for Isaac and he can now enjoy being in the park with his sister!

To raise autism awareness Naomi has also written, with support of her mum, about her struggles with attending mainstream school and eating. To date, her blog posts have been viewed 250k+ times! You can check them out on her mum’s blog at the links above, but have tissues at hand – her story is raw, honest, and touching!

Naomi has also been on BBC Breakfast talking about fidget spinners and how good they are for children with autism. A great advocate and campaigner, and a fantastic sister and daughter!


What is your proudest achievement?

I am proud for getting a swing for my brother because lots of other children can use it too.

What women inspire you?

My mummy because she looks after two children and lets my friend come to play too even though we all have autism.

What change would you like to see for girls and young women in Scotland in next 10 years?

I would like more girls to do well at school and help other people.

What 3 women (past or present, real or fictional) would you invite to your dream dinner party/picnic?

I would have my best friend Abigail, my mummy and my granny as they are all my friends and all different ages so it would be better.

What would your message be for girls and young women in Scotland?

Be kind and help people and write letters if you want something done.

Pictures courtesy of Naomi Gwynne

You can see the full list of our amazing 30 Under 30 2017 finalists here, and keep a look out on the blog as we feature  a different finalist every day throughout November.

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