A "festival of inclusivity" has seen an inspiring group of autistic young people from Prior's Court each complete a 5k challenge.

A group of 14 young people from Prior's Court aged 9 to 19 attended Parallel Windsor - a series of challenge events designed for people with a range of disabilities operating alongside a festival of music, performance and more in the historic Windsor Great Park.

Young people Alfie, Amar, Daniel A, Daniel K, Daniel L, Dexter, Ethan, Felix, Frankie, Helena, Jacob, Joel, Misha, and Sebby all took part in the 5k challenge at the event on Sunday, 7 July, taken sponsored to do so in aid of our Fun and Recreation appeal. 

The young people were supported to take on the challenge event and then explore the festival itself by a group of staff members.

There is still time to donate to sponsor our young people, who have already raised more than £1,000 so far.

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Chris McQuilkin, Learning Facilitator for Healthiness at Prior’s Court who organised young people to attend, said: “This was the second year in a row now we have attended Parallel Windsor. Like in 2023, it was a brilliant experience for our group of young people to be a part of – to be able to join in a fun, interactive event in the community in an atmosphere of understanding and respect.

“Each of them did themselves proud in taking on the 5k challenge, whether that was running, jogging, walking or a combination of all three. And then for them to have the opportunity to explore the festival itself and enjoy so many different experiences was just fantastic.”

Natalie Norris, Prior’s Court’s Fundraising Manager, said: “Other young people supported by other charities can show their support for the help the charity provides them and by taking part in an accessible event full of acceptance and awareness of neurodivergence, the autistic young people with complex needs we support had the opportunity to do so which is just brilliant.”

Autistic young people with complex needs deserve to experience the same things as others their age. But, complex needs and sensory challenges can make it difficult for young people to attend seasonal events that others their age do such as Easter Egg hunts, summer fairgrounds, fireworks displays, and Christmas Carol Concerts. Our Fun and Recreation Appeal allows events like these to take place on-site in a familiar environment which helps to ease some of the anxieties which can prevent our young people from accessing them otherwise.