Banbury mum raises £1,000 with mammoth walk for autism support group

A Banbury mum of an autistic teenager helped raise £1,000 for a support group by completing a mammoth 100km walk along the River Thames.

Thursday, 14th September 2017, 2:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th September 2017, 2:32 pm
L-R, Martin Hambidge, Christina Morris, PTA founder Karen Irvani and Adele Hambidge at the finish line NNL-170914-141517001

Christina Morris, from Grimsbury, wanted to raise money for Parents Talking Asperger’s (PTA) to thank them for the invaluable help and friendship she and her 13-year-old son Jamie have received.

Together with two other parents from the group, Martin and Adele Hambidge, she hiked from London to Oxfordshire overnight in the Thames Path Challenge on September 9 and 10.

“This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I felt like giving up half-way through because walking through the night and going without sleep was so difficult,” Christina said.

“I am so glad that I made it to the end. PTA has changed my life as an autism parent and my son and I have made life-long friends. I just had to do it!”

Organised by Action Challenge, thousands of walkers traversed the route of the River Thames in order to raise funds for respective charities and causes through the entire weekend.

It started at Bishop’s Park near Putney Bridge in London, through Kew, Richmond and Teddington, past the royal palaces of Hampton Court and Windsor Castle and finished in Henley-on-Thames.

PTA founder Karen Irvani and her husband Shahram walked the final kilometre with the trio.

“What an incredible achievement by Christina, Martin and Adele,” Karen said.

“They suggested that maybe I could do it next year but I said I would rather use my brain for our autism cause rather than my feet!

“Everyone at PTA is in awe of this tremendous effort and the funds will be put to buying more equipment for our youth and junior sessions.”

PTA’s pastoral manager Rev John Jeffs monitored the trio’s progress throughout using the official tracker and regularly updated PTA’s community on Facebook.

PTA is a Christian faith-based group based at The Baptist Centre in Middleton Cheney and supports thousands of families worldwide.

“PTA is a family: we are all there for each other during the highs and lows of everyday life with autism,” Karen said.

“Witnessing the effort of these three parents to raise funds to support the work that we do is just wonderful.

“All three have developed horrendous blisters because of the sheer distance of the challenge.

“It makes everything that all the volunteers do in varying capacities worthwhile.”

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