Sunderland autistic students take on Hadrian’s Wall to support heroes

Some of the students from the Education & Services for People witn Autism (ESPA) college, The Cedars, Sunderland, who are takimng part in a sposored walk along Hadrians Wall in aid of Help for Heroes.
Some of the students from the Education & Services for People witn Autism (ESPA) college, The Cedars, Sunderland, who are takimng part in a sposored walk along Hadrians Wall in aid of Help for Heroes.
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YOUNG people with autism have shown fighting spirit by stepping out on a charity trek.

Youngsters from ESPA College in Sunderland pulled on their walking boots to tackle a stretch of Hadrian’s Wall in aid of Help for Heroes.

The 16-strong group camped out for four nights as part of their expedition.

The sponsored walk, which aimed to raise thousands of pounds, is part of a long-running project at the Ashbrooke-based college.

Jak Dixon, 36, assistant college co-ordinator, said: “The project started around Christmas from a shoebox appeal we did.

“So far we’ve raised around £4,000.”

Jak said the walk was also a personal challenge for the students, as people with autism can struggle to cope with changes in their routine and can find it difficult to empathise with others.

Jak added: “They have challenged themselves beyond their expectations.

“People with autism find change very hard and they are into it 100 per cent.

“There is a lot of life-changing stuff going on for the students, as well as where the money is going.”

The students also showed their support for military personnel injured serving their country by recording an uplifting single, Help Our Heroes, which is now available on iTunes and the project’s Facebook page.

Young singers first performed the song at the college’s Christmas carol service in Sunderland Minister.

They have now laid down the track professionally and are hoping it will prove a hit among all those with links to the armed forces.

Twitter: @janethejourno