Local charity Autism Initiatives hopes Walk for Autism 2023 will be one of the most successful campaigns in its history. The annual fundraising campaign invites participants from up and down the country to walk 10,000 steps per day for eight days wherever they choose. The walking week begins on March 26 and ends on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2.
In 2022, the campaign saw over 3,800 walkers step up to the Walk for Autism challenge. Together, they raised £407,448.48 and totalled 211.6 million steps.
The money raised from Walk for Autism helps to fund autism projects across the UK and Ireland, alongside specialist staff who support autistic people to follow their individual interests, and improve their overall wellbeing through socialising or physical movement.
Walk for Autism Fundraising Manager, Liz Oakley said: “This campaign is so close to our hearts, as we see how much of an impact it makes every year. It really helps to improve the quality of life of the people we work with, and allows us to create communities for people who need them. Taking part is also a brilliant opportunity to spend time outdoors and improve your health and wellbeing. It’s important to us that the challenge is inclusive to all abilities, so whether you opt for short walks each day, walking the dog, or take on longer hikes, the challenge can work around you. Walk for Autism also includes steps from everyday activities, such as pottering in the garden or walking upstairs. Every step counts and makes a difference.”
The 2023 campaign has been boosted by the support of Bridgerton and Emmerdale star Simon Lennon, who will once again be stepping out in support of the Walk for Autism campaign.
Simon said: “I’m delighted to take part in Walk for Autism again this year because it’s really important to get everyone in the UK walking and talking about autism and it’s fun too. Many people taking part have a special connection to autism and they are doing their bit to help raise funds for autism projects around the UK and Ireland.”
The team are encouraging walkers to complete their steps by walking and talking with family and friends, at their own pace. Those who sign up and raise their first £20 will be sent a ‘Walk for Autism’ t-shirt to assist in their fundraising.
Liz added: “Autism affects more than 700,000 people in the UK and Ireland. It’s amazing to see the difference that our walkers make each year, and essential that we continue to help as many people as possible through our fundraising efforts.”
Walk for Autism is a campaign led by Liverpool-based charity Autism Initiatives Group, which works to improve the lives of autistic people and their families across the UK and Ireland. Founded in the 1970s, the charity recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The organisation was founded by a local mother, Pat Minshull, who was determined to find the right support for her son. The charity continues to follow Pat’s legacy with a family-led and person-centred approach to working alongside autistic people and their families.
You can now register for Walk for Autism at www.walkforautism.co.uk