Aberfoyle father and daughter ready to take on north to south walk for autism awareness
An Aberfoyle father and daughter are preparing to take on a gruelling cross-country challenge to tackle stereotypes around autism.
Ian Alderman and his eight-year-old daughter Eve are set to backpack from Dunnet Head - considered the most northerly point of the UK mainland - to Lizard Point beyond Land’s End which is the most southerly point of Britain.
The gruelling challenge will take place in March 2022, with the pair hoping to complete the challenge sometime in Winter 2022.
The cause is one that is close to their hearts, with both Ian and Eve living with autism themselves and eager to challenge preconceived ideas about the condition head-on and give other people living with autism the confidence to do what they want to do.
Dad Ian told the Observer: “It’s something we’ve always spoken about because we’re both happiest in the outdoors and into our Munro bagging for example.
“Eve has always wanted to do something big and her dream is to climb Mount Everest, to the extent that she’s already had online meetings with Sherpas about going up one day.
“She has a poster of Everest right above her bed so that it is the first thing she sees every morning and the last thing she sees every night.
“We wanted to make it bigger than average and we’ve now got an application in from the Guinness World Records people as we think we should be the the youngest person ever to walk it.
“We’re going to start in March and hope to be finished in the winter, obviously taking some rest days along the way during the journey - the plan is hopefully to video it all on our YouTube channel as well so people can follow along.
“Autism is one of those unseen disabilities and with a lot of the mental health stuff going in the press now, we wanted to tie in with that, as well as supporting the National Autistic Society who we have done fundraising for before.”
The family’s journey through life is already being shared with thousands via their ‘Our Spectrum Adventures’ Facebook page, started by Ian’s wife Sarah, who is a qualified teacher, as an online diary while Eve is educated at home.
“The Facebook page has gained a lot of momentum and is there to sort of inspire people and show them there are other people out there just like them”, Ian said.
He added: “There is some negative stuff that we sometimes get back, but it’s all about showing there are multiple paths to living life with autism and just challenge some stereotypes around it.”
The pair have launched an online fundraiser to help them with day-to-day costs along the way including hot meals and replacement shoes, as well as buy Eve some treats along the way as she treks across the UK from end to end.
You can support them on their fundraising page at justgiving.com/fundraising/johnogroatstolandsendourspectrumadventures