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Newark woman takes steps towards autism awareness

Sarah Twiner out on one of her walks.

A Newark woman has set herself the huge challenge of walking 200 miles in just 10 days, to raise money and awareness for Autism East Midlands and their Family Support Hubs.

Sarah Twiner, 41, began working at the Autism Family Support Hub in Retford after receiving help from the organisation when her own child received an autism diagnosis. To support the hubs, since March 26 Sarah has been walking routes around Newark on a daily basis to reach her 200-mile goal by April 4.

The 200-mile goal represents the distance between all of the Autism East Midlands Family Support Hubs. Sarah’s challenge is running over Autism Awareness Week, and is part of the 'One in 100 - Hub to Hub Challenge' set up by Autism East Midlands.

Sarah said: “I felt the support of the hubs myself when I needed it, so I am happy to be working for them now and taking on this challenge.

“For me I am just really passionate about raising awareness and acceptance of autism, that’s the main thing for me and I hope that’s what I can do.”

The Family Support Hubs provide help for families that have been affected by an autism diagnosis, in a safe and friendly environment. They provide activities for the whole family, as well as specialist information and advice.

Those who have a diagnosis of autism have been highlighted in previous research as at a higher risk of chronic loneliness. Throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing measures, the hubs have been operating online and have been working hard to ensure that those with autism and their families do not feel isolated.

Sarah has currently raised £380 for Autism East Midlands and hopes to reach her £500 goal by April 4, 2021.

She said: "It has been hard, but it's given me chance to walk around places in Newark that I wouldn't usually. Usually I'd walk into town and I know my route, so I just walk that way. 

"When you live somewhere for a long time, you think you know everywhere and you've seen it all. I've been surprised!" 

If you’d like to donate to Sarah’s fundraiser, you can do so by visiting her JustGiving page.

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