Bootle charity announces return of Walk for Autism fundraiser this March

A charity that supports autistic people and their families are urging people to dust off their trainers and join them once more for its annual fundraising campaign, Walk for Autism.

The challenge, which is organised by the Autism Initiatives Group, will see participants from up and down the country walk 10,000 steps per day for the eight days between March 26 and World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.  

The charity hopes to make this year's walk its biggest one yet in its five-year history.

Last year, the campaign’s participants collectively walked over an impressive 194 million steps and raised more than £621,000, making it their most successful year to date. 

All the money raised goes towards helping individuals with autism while supporting autism projects in the UK and Ireland that encourage the pursuit of specialist interests, promote physical activity and help autistic adults and children learn and develop every single day.

Walk for Autism fundraising manager Liz Oakley said: "This campaign is especially important to us as we have seen first-hand how much it can improve people's lives; not just with the money raised but for all those who take part. 

"Our aim is to create a wonderful community of like-minded people who are passionate about autism and believe they can make a difference.

"These past two years have been tough for everyone, and walking has been proven to help with mental wellbeing, which is just another positive reason to get involved. 

Walkers can complete their steps at any time and in whatever way suits them, whether it’s walking the dog, stepping on the treadmill or conquering a long-distance hike. 

For this year’s theme of We Walk for Autism the charity is encouraging people to do their walking with friends and family. 

Those who sign up and pledge an upfront £20 will get a Walk for Autism t-shirt to assist in their fundraising, as well as a tutorial on how to create their very own homemade confetti canon using household items to celebrate their completion of the challenge.

Liz added: "Autism affects more than 700,000 people in the UK and Ireland each year and it’s vital that we continue to help as many of those people as possible through our fundraising efforts."

Walk for Autism is a campaign led by charity Autism Initiatives Group, in Bootle, Merseyside who have been working to improve the lives of autistic people and their families across the UK and Ireland for almost 50 years.