The event, which was held virtually for the past two years due to Covid-19, was a huge success and marked the culmination of the Society’s month-long calendar of events in celebration of Autism Acceptance Month, which runs throughout April.
“The walk is always our biggest event of the year, both in terms of fundraising and raising awareness, so it was incredible to see so many people coming together again after three years away,” said Kevin Meikle, NEAS Fundraising Manager.
As a charity, we passionately campaign all year round for better understanding, awareness, and acceptance of autism, and it’s great to see so many local people getting involved and helping us to champion that message.
The sponsored walk, which raises funds for the charity’s frontline services, was officially opened at 11am by ITV legend Pam Royle, who was recently unveiled as one of NEAS’s patrons, and CEO John Phillipson.
“It was a huge honour to become a patron of such a wonderful charity, and I’m thrilled that my first official duty was to start the Walk For Acceptance,” said Pam, who was the face of North-east television for nearly 40 years.
John Phillipson added: “Everything we do at the North East Autism Society is geared towards improving the lives of autistic people and their families, and we know that one of the ways we can do that is by improving society’s understanding – and of course, acceptance – of autism and neurodiversity.
“That’s why today’s event is so important, not only does it help to spread our message of autism acceptance across the region, but it shows just how much we can all achieve if we come together from a place of understanding and simply embrace the things that make us all different and unique. This walk is just one of a number of events that NEAS has hosted this month, as well as working with schools, businesses and individuals across the region to offer education, advice and support around autism and neurodiversity.”
The North East Autism Society Head Office is located at Unit 15 Lumley Court, Drum Industrial Estate, Chester-le-Street, DH2 1AN.