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Autism Wessex and Portfield School raise more than £9,800

Autism Wessex activities week fundraiser
Photo: Autism Wessex

Autism affects around 700,000 people in the UK. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people. Autism Wessex offers three main channels of support: education at Portfield School, community and residential support and a Community Connection service for advice.

Founded in 1968 by parents, the Dorset-based charity has raised £9,828.39 for a new playground at their West Parley-based specialist school, Portfield School.

The money was raised during a week of activities which included a cycle ride that was the same distance as a journey from Dorset to London, a six-hour football tournament and a 24-hour sponsored walk!

The activities raised an impressive £1,877. However, the generosity of other individuals and businesses made up the remaining £8,443. This included donations from individuals, groups and organisations such as Tesco, Asda, Goadsby and Martin & Co through Autism Wessex’s JustGiving page.

The staff and the pupils of Portfield are excited to see the start of the playground build in time for the new school year in September.

The playground will not only provide a new area of play for the students, it will also create learning opportunities, therapy through play, encourage social skills, team building and life-skills such as sharing and helping others, as well as helping physical development and strength through stretching, reaching and balancing.

Autism Wessex spokesperson

The Acting Headteacher at Portfield School said:

All of us within the charity and the school are overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people, and the support we have received for this project has been incredible. I know that this project will be incredibly life-changing for our students, their education and their wellbeing.

Jemma Dudgeon, Acting Headteacher, Portfield School

Autism Wessex also runs a #ThumbsUp awards with an aim to recognise individuals, schools and businesses making a positive difference for Autism Wessex students and others with autism.

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