Chelmsley Wood teenager begins month-long challenge for Autism Awareness Month - The Solihull Observer

Chelmsley Wood teenager begins month-long challenge for Autism Awareness Month

Solihull Editorial 5th Apr, 2024   0

A CHELMSLEY Wood teenager will be going the extra mile in April to raise awareness of austism.

Alfie Ford has challenged himself to cycle 5kilometres everyday of the month to mark Autism Awareness Month.

The 18-year-old, who has autism and dyspraxia, pledged to challenge public misconceptions surrounding those that have autism while raising funds for the National Autistic Society.

He said: “Autism hasn’t got much awareness so I would like to raise more awareness of it.

“I am doing it as there is a big misconception which I know of being autistic myself that Autistic people are just naughty, don’t talk or are weird, and have it for attention and are not individuals like everyone else is.

One of the charities Alfie is donating to is the Nation Autistic Society.

Alfie added: “The charity is very close to my heart as they are trying to raise awareness of autism by persuading certain spaces to introduce autism-friendly things, such as the ‘Autism Hour’ where they lower the volume of music, make the place quieter and dim the lights.”

Alfie has been raising awareness for autism since 2022, and so far has raised over £2,000.

He challenged himself last year to to walk 15,000 steps every day through the month of April, and was even joined by Meriden MP Saqib Bhatti on his final walk of the month.

During Prime Minister’s Questions last year Rishi Sunak praised Alfie’s challenge and campaign to raise awareness of autism and his fundraising efforts, wishing him “the best of luck” and calling him “an inspiration, not just to his community, but to many others”.

Mr Sunak said: “Can I start by praising Alfie for his fantastic efforts. He’s an inspiration, not just to his community, but to many others.

“Our autism strategy sets out our ambition to ensure that autistic people across all parts of the country get the support they need to live fulfilling and happy lives.

“And I look forward to seeing Alfie’s progress on the rest of his journey.”

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