Walkers step out in Sunderland to raise awareness of autism

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.
North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

Hundreds of people put their best foot forward to raise cash and awareness of autism.

Families from across the region gathered at Sunderland’s Herrington Country Park to join the Walk for Autism.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

Now an annual event, the Walk for Autism, which is organised by The North East Autism Society, is aimed at helping to make more people aware of autism, which is not always talked about and cannot always be seen.

It also marks World Autism Awareness Month.

Sophie Clarke, who organises the event, said: “We do lots of events throughout the year but this one is special – it lets people from the North East see and hear about autism from the very people who know about it most, and gives us a chance to raise much-needed funds for on-the-ground autism-specific services.

“The walk is a truly autism-friendly event.”

It lets people from the North East see and hear about autism from the very people who know about it most

Sophie Clark

The large group of walkers set out from the amphitheatre at 11am on Friday and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of the park.

Walkers enjoyed walking to background music from DJ Jordy.

There was also an Easter egg hunt with chocolate treats and the children were joined by the NEAS mascot, Pawsum the Panda, who handed out certificates and creme egg to everyone who took part.

As well as using the day to raise awareness of autism, the walkers are also hoping to raise money through sponsorship.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

Now, the NEAS is urging nurseries and toddler groups to hold their own toddles for autism.

Sophie said: “We believe that by working together we can raise the profile and awareness of autism and promote the tremendous work of NEAS throughout the North East, improving the lives of families living with autism.”

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.

North East Autism Society's Walk for Autism, Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.