Londonderry man Brian Campbell is getting his walking shoes out to raise cash for Circle of Support. Brian will “saunter” from Drumahoe’s Riverside grounds to Limavady United’s Showgrounds on Saturday December 29th, a distance of 20 miles.
This walk will end in Brian watching his beloved Institute’s big derby match against arch rivals Limavady United at Limavady’s grounds. The charity of Circle of Support is one very close to Brian’s heart as it deals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Brian’s six year old son Jack was diagnosed with Autism when he was 5, just as he was about to go into Primary 1. Brian’s plan to make this journey was just an impulse decision.
“I just woke up last Sunday morning and I had a text about the Institute and Limavady match.
“I just decided then I’ll walk to it and raise some money for the group. “Originally I was going to do it myself but now a couple of mates have joined in,” he said.
However Brian did not foresee the amount of interest in his fundraiser.
“I originally only aimed to raise about £200 but now I’ve raised £1400 after setting up the website just last week. So there’s no going back now.”
Brian joined the Circle of Support which has enabled the family to take Jack on outings. Circle of Support have organised many events making ordinary events easier on autistic children.
The Richmond Centre agreed to allow the children in to see Santa while the Centre was closed so they would not be afraid due to the large crowd and noise. The group also organises cinema trips where the children can watch films with the lights up and the sound down.
Brian commented that this was a big help, “I know if I tried to take Jack to the cinema normally he wouldn’t sit through it.
“He would be too scared with all the noise and the darkness.
“These are things that other families take for granted but we would have found them almost impossible without the help of the COS.”
The group also organises coffee mornings for the parents to get together and talk about their experiences with autism. Circle of Support also featured on ITV’s Surprise Surprise where the five founding mothers were rewarded for their hard work.
All money raised by the walk will then be used to help continue these outings and coffee mornings, offering much needed support for families affected by autism. To donate to Brian’s walk you can visit his website www.saunterforautism.com and donate through PayPal.