Familes step out to raise awareness of autism

People on the walk to raise awareness of autism.
People on the walk to raise awareness of autism.
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Hundreds of people have taken strides towards raising awareness of autism.

To mark the launch of World Autism Awareness Week, hundreds of people from across the North East took part in the region’s second annual Walk for Autism.

The one-mile interactive route at Herrington Country Park in Sunderland was open to children and adults and took walkers through a trail highlighting the different sensory issues people with autism encounter.

More than 300 people, including children, young people and adults with autism from the North East Autism Society’s (NEAS) schools, college and residential homes, strolled around the countryside to help raise funds, and awareness of the condition, which affects one in every 100 people.

Everyone taking part was given an activity booklet to complete along the way, and the charity’s mascot Pawsum the Panda was waiting at the finishing point with certificates for everyone.

There was also an Easter egg prize draw.

Sophie Clarke, events fundraiser at NEAS, said: “The aim of the event was to firstly raise awareness of autism throughout the North East, but also much-needed funds.

“We’re thrilled at how many people turned up and we’re delighted to have raised more than £1,100 with more donations and sponsor money to come.

“We’d just like to thank all those who came, all of our volunteers and the staff who supported the event.

“Such a great event with so many people really raises awareness that autism affects a significant number of people in our own communities.”

Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the charity’s Family Support services.