Sunderland Scramble for autism charity

The ‘Sunderland Scramble’ event will be taking place in Herrington Country Park and will be a chance for families to get involved and have fun for a great cause.

All money raised will go to the North East Autism Society as they plan to build four accessible respite lodges to give people with autism and other disabilities short break opportunities.

The event will take place on Saturday May 20 at 9.30am and there will be a range of muddy obstacle courses stretching over a distance of 5km, including a newly added ‘adult-only competitive wave’ so adults can join in with the fun.

Sophie Clarke, events fundraiser for NEAS, said: “We want people to have a great event experience and really enjoy themselves, therefore making them want to join in on our other events in the future. We want to be able to raise further awareness of autism, as well as the awareness and profile of our charity.

“Respite care has long been identified as crucial for families with children with autism. So, the more people taking part and raising more sponsorship, the more money we have to be able to build the lodges as well as for the equipment inside.”

With 653 people turning up to last year’s event, the charity is expecting a huge turnout.

Michelle Abbs, who runs three support groups for families of children with autism in Country Durham and has a son with autism herself, said: “I know first-hand how donations can make a massive impact. There isn’t enough support, advice and non-judgmental environments for our children and young adults. My son has been referred to as ‘naughty’ and my favourite is ‘he doesn’t look autistic.

“I think what the NEAS do is absolutely fantastic. The support and information they offer to families is essential. Without groups like the North East Autism Society and my group, Little Treasures, families wouldn’t be able to access the support they need and would have no-where to call their safe haven.”

People attending are asked to arrive 40 minutes before their chosen course begins so they have time to register and all donations are welcomed.

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