Find out the moving story behind our masthead masterpiece

When Siddharth Gadiyar, 22, enters the art studio, the difficulties surrounding his autism and behavioural needs melt away and his creativity is poured on to the giant canvases propped in front of him. The resulting pieces are so impressive that we’ve even changed our masthead to celebrate how art can reach all people.

Every Friday, Sid attends a session with National Lottery-funded Project Art Works in Hastings. “It’s one of the best things that happens in Sid’s life,” says his mother, Susmitha.

“He has so many behavioural challenges on top of his autism, ADHD, severe learning disability and severe speech and language impairment, I didn’t think they’d take him. But when I explained these to Tim at Project Art Works, a National Lottery-funded collective of neurodiverse artists and activists, he just told me to bring him.

"Sid is blissfully unaware of his talent or anything that happens before or after painting. All he knows is that it brings him great joy, calm and happiness.”

Sid has been attending Project Art Works for over three years and it’s been a lifeline for both him and his family. He is given paints and large canvases to create his artworks. The most moving picture for everyone involved was one he dedicated to his mum, inscribing the words “Siddharth love Mummy” over and over again.

“It was the first time in his life that he had conveyed that message to me,” says Susmitha. “I’m so grateful for the support I get from Project Art Works, the carers who support my trips and the National Lottery players who make it all possible.”

By playing The National Lottery, you raise £30M for good causes every week*, just like Project Artworks. Find out more at national-lottery.co.uk/news

*Based on figures from April 2020-March 2021. Players must be 18+.


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