Finding himself with more time and an increased interest in running during the Coronavirus pandemic, James decided to set himself a personal challenge and raise money for Autistica.
In normal times I spend 3 hours a day commuting, so I decided to use my new 'free' time to try and get fit and decided to do some more running. It was also a great excuse to get out of the house, good for my mental health, and you don't need much equipment for running! I decided to set myself a post-lockdown challenge. Autism affects 1 in 100 people so I decided to run 100km over 10 days to try and raise as much money as possible for Autistica.
Having been a Trustee for Autistica for 6 years I have seen first-hand the great work they do. Autistica does not just want to raise money and fund research; they want their work to have real impact on autistic people's lives and change the fact that autistic people still face some of the poorest life chances of any group in society. I want my fundraising to help their aims to facilitate changes in policy, healthcare and awareness to try to address this unacceptable inequality.
I came up with the idea of the 100k in 10 days because I thought it would represent a real challenge for me, but it was one that I thought was realistic. I did a few trial runs and set a date that allowed me enough time to train and promote my challenge. I knew it would be tough but completing each day would be a personal achievement - even if it was a slow time!
Throughout the 10 days I listened to different playlists each day and was even joined by family and friends for some of the runs. I updated my online fundraising page after every run. Everyone was so supportive and this really drove donations.
Fundraising during a pandemic may be an unusual experience but I’m so glad I did it. In fact it’s even more important than usual because charities are losing money and their beneficiaries, particularly autistic people, need them more than ever.