The world’s first Tourette’s superhero to spend half term at Scarborough Art Gallery

Jess Thomas: artist, play worker and comedian , hosting Heroes Of The Imagination

THE world’s first Tourette’s superhero lands in Scarborough Art Gallery this February half-term with a free “interactive, inclusive and incredible” superhero-themed experience.

Heroes Of The Imagination, from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, February 22, invites disabled and non-disabled children to discover their own powers, create a superhero identity and use their imagination to change the world. 

Touretteshero herself will be there with her team to help children make masks, create capes, perfect their moves and launch their new superheroes in a magical photo studio.

Touretteshero was founded by Matthew Pountney and Jess Thom, an artist, play worker and comedian who has Tourette’s syndrome and finds her tics are a source of imaginative creativity. She has never been seen in the same room as Touretteshero, by the way!

Children taking part in a previous Touretteshero event

“Touretteshero needs you!” says Jess. “Bring your ideas, excitement and energy to celebrate difference and save the world from dullness.”

Scarborough Museums Trust chief executive Andrew Clay says: “We’re excited to host internationally acclaimed company Touretteshero to inspire and energise us in our journey towards becoming more accessible and inclusive.

“We have some way to go but we’re committed to radically improving access over the next few years, particularly at Scarborough Art Gallery, including installing a lift.”

Taking place on the ground floor of the gallery, in The Crescent, this celebration of creativity, imagination and neurodiversity will allow children to choose and move between activities.

Another Touretteshero event in Scarborough

There will be a chill-out area, quiet and busy spaces and plenty of staff and helpers on hand, plus a Mobiloo outside the gallery on The Crescent: a Changing Places accessible loo with an adult-size changing bed and ceiling hoist.

The fully accessible, multi-sensory drop-in activities for disabled and non-disabled children and their grown-up sidekicks are free, but places are limited and booking is essential. The event is recommended particularly for children aged five to 13.

Further free half-term events being run by Scarborough Museums Trust include:

  • Fabulous Fossils, Rotunda Museum, Tuesday, February 18, 10.30am to 12 noon and 1.30pm to 3pm;
  • Superheroes of Science, Rotunda Museum, Thursday, February 20, 10am to 12 noon and 1pm to 3pm;
  • Explorer Backpacks and Trails, Rotunda Museum, Scarborough Art Gallery and Woodend, available every day.

To book for Heroes Of The Imagination, and for more information on all the half-term events, call 01723 374753 (Scarborough Art Gallery) or 01723 353665 (Rotunda) or visit