Letting nothing stand in their way, determined staff from across the Thameslink network joined forces to run, walk, jog and cycle throughout the month of June to raise money for Autism Bedfordshire.
Hailed ‘Challenge 50,’ each fundraiser had to complete 50 kilometres of their chosen form of exercise. With usual community events on hold due to the pandemic, Bernie Lee – station manager for Bedford, Flitwick and Harlington – thought it was more important than ever to raise awareness and vital funds for the charity and is thrilled that the team have beaten their £1,000 target.
She comments: “I’m a huge supporter of Autism Bedfordshire and I wanted to help them at a time when their services will be relied upon more than ever. I spread the word to colleagues and friends as well as posting on community Facebook groups to get as many people involved as I could. It was great fun and good exercise for us all and I’m really proud of the amount we’ve managed to raise.”
Adult Services Manager at Autism Bedfordshire, Sharna Raine, said: “This is a hugely difficult time for autistic people and their families and carers. Normal routine has gone out the window and that can cause real issues for those with special needs. We’ve really felt the impact of the pandemic, so we are hugely grateful to Bernie and her team for getting out there and raising awareness of Autism Bedfordshire on our behalf. I can’t thank everyone involved enough for their time and dedication.”
Earlier this year, the operator announced that Autism Bedfordshire had become an official station partner of Luton Airport Parkway. Community Engagement Officer for Govia Thameslink Railway, Andrew Chillingsworth, added: “This is part of an ongoing relationship between ourselves and the charity and we’re pleased that we can continue to offer support in these difficult times.”
Autism Bedfordshire’s services help break down the barriers to social participation for autistic people and their families by providing places where they can go and feel comfortable, accepted, and not judged by society. The fundraising team for ‘Challenge 50’ have met their £1,000 target but there is still time to donate to the cause by visiting: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ThameslinkandAutismbeds