Caroline Spurry, a trainee teacher from Knutsford in Cheshire has lost 3 ½ stone and is taking part in this Sunday's BUPA Great Manchester Run to raise money for the National Autistic Society (NAS), the UK's leading charity for people affected by autism, their families and carers.
Caroline took up running to help her lose the weight she had gained after having two children, and enjoyed it so much that she is now taking part in this event.
The BUPA Great Manchester Run celebrates its sixth anniversary this Sunday, 18th May. It is one of the most prestigious 10 kilometre races in the world, starting and finishing in the City Centre and featuring a whole range of fun activities and entertainment across the City. Many celebrities from TV and radio take part in the event, along with international athletes from around the world.
Caroline said: "Autism affects around one in a hundred people and I have had many pupils with autism in my classes at school. I became aware of the struggle that parents have to receive the right services and realise the valuable support that the NAS provides to people affected by this lifelong disabling condition.
"I also have a nine-year-old nephew, Isaac, who has autism. His parents have received a lot of advice from the NAS through the different stages of his life. I am feeling great now that I have lost weight and want to raise as much money as possible to help the NAS to continue to support so many people with autism."
If you want to sponsor Caroline, please call 020 7903 3529 or send a cheque made payable to 'The National Autistic Society' and quoting 'Caroline Spurry, Great Manchester Run' to Fundraising Team, The National Autistic Society, 393 City Road, London, EC1V 1NG.
NAS Director of Fundraising, Trevor Anderton, said: "We are thrilled that so many people have decided to take part in the BUPA Great Manchester Run this year and support the NAS. The event looks like it is going to be lots of fun. All the money raised will go towards providing vital services to people with autism, such as residential services, resource centres and various other means of supporting local people with autism and their families and carers."
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours. Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
The National Autistic Society is the UK's leading charity for people with autistic spectrum disorders and their families. Founded in 1962, it continues to spearhead national and international initiatives and provide a strong voice for all people with autism. The NAS provides a wide range of services to help people with autism and Asperger syndrome live their lives with as much independence as possible.
The NAS relies on the support of its members and donors to continue its vital work for people with autism. To become a member, make a donation or to find out more about the work of the NAS, visit the NAS website www.autism.org.uk or call the NAS donation line 08702 33 40 40, (national rates apply).
For more information about autism and for help in your area, call the NAS Autism Helpline on: 0845 070 4004 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday, (local rates apply).
The NAS Autism Services Directory is the UK's most comprehensive directory of services and events for people with autism. Visit www.autism.org.uk/autismdirectory to find autism services and support networks in your area.