MARTIN Finn is living proof of how vulnerable adults can live independent lives and make a real contribution to society.
ubu was inspired to hear how Martin, who was born with severe autism and struggles with speech, is moving audiences around Europe to tears with his beautiful singing voice.
While proud mum and dad, Norma and John, look on, he wows crowds as he performs some of the most intricate ballads with a unique pitch perfect voice.
But the man with the voice of an angle is a facing an uncertain future as his parents battle to ensure he can continue to pursue his singing career.
Relying on his parents for round the clock care Martin has carved out a very independent life for himself as a performer, perfectly mimicking artists such as James Blunt and Snow Patrol; more amazingly he can even sing in French and Spanish.
He has travelled Europe and entertained thousands even appearing on BBC Three’s Autistic Superstars. But his parents worry that if anything happens to them, Martin could be forgotten and left to languish in an institution.
That would be tragic. Martin has discovered a natural talent thousands have already had the chance to appreciate. His voice is his way of carving out an independent life at the heart of his community and spreading some joy and happiness to many others.
His parents shouldn’t have to worry that he will face an uncertain future as they age.
John said that music had helped unlock other previously closed doors for Martin who was encouraged by his teacher, Calvin Wallace, at Landgate School for autistic students in Atherton, Lancashire.
Calvin brought in a karaoke machine that sparked off Martin’s previously undiscovered talent to unlock his potential and despite never having read children’s’ books he started to read everything he could about music including scores and lyrics.
“Music is Martin’s life,” said John.
At ubu we understand the frustration that Martin’s parents feel. Many autistic people have hidden talents that rely on a Calvin to discover and a Norma and John to encourage. Our ethos has always been to treat a person as they could be rather than as they are. In that way they can become as they should be.
Martin and all vulnerable adults shouldn’t be left to ‘languish’ in institutions. uStep is a realistic way forward to provide support for those who need it, enable the people we serve to express themselves and pursue the independent kind of lives they desire at the heart of their communities, where they can play an integral part and contribute.
We sincerely hope that John and Norma are able to find the right place for Martin to be supported so he can continue to entertain.