1,100km fund raising run as thank you to pre-school


Kings Sutton pre-school goes the extra mile to help autistic child feel safe and welcome

A dad from Kings Sutton has organised a fund raising 1,100 kilometre run as a thank-you to his local Pre-School for all they do to help his autistic child.  

Olly Boys’ four-year-old son Bertie was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder with speech and language delay, and sensory difficulties, in January this year.

Mr Boys said: “Overall Bertie is quite a happy and healthy child and we’re really lucky, but he does have some difficult days.

“One of Bertie’s biggest difficulties is speech and language and communication.   His other is social and emotional difficulties.   If he were to walk into a room and I was crying he would drop to the floor like a stone.   He wouldn’t be able to cope with the fact that someone was upset”.

After Bertie’s diagnosis Mr Boys describes the help his family have received from the NHS as “incredible”, with support becoming available for not only Bertie’s close family, but the extended family, teachers and other children as well.

At Kings Sutton Pre-School the staff have worked hard to enable Bertie to feel safe and welcome.   Mr Boys said: “Every time there are new starters in September or January they might take a week or two to settle in.   If they are crying at the door I could be walking across the playground with Bertie and he would instantly grab hold of my leg and be inconsolable.   So they’ve done things like move the start times for certain children that act like a trigger for Bertie.

“If he’s having a really bad morning they’ve been flexible and let us take him in a half hour later.   If there’s a time of day when the kids are going to be excited and Bertie is going to struggle with that they’ve given him ear defenders.   It just allows him to separate himself from everyone else.   Just little things like that have helped him get through every single day.”

Mr Boys is full of praise for the staff at the nursery and particularly the manager Becky Herbert who has provided support for Mr Boys and his wife Gemma as well.

Over the coming months Mr Boys wants to raise money for autism charities that support families like his.   But his first big challenge will be to raise money for King Sutton Pre-School as a thank you for everything they have done for his family.   The Pre-School has been fund raising for refurbishment work and in addition had to contend with being flooded last year.

Mr Boys and a group of friends plan to run 1,100 kilometres between them during April, the first week of which was National Autism Awareness week.   10 adults have agreed to the challenge of completing 100km each and Bertie’s older brother Aiden, 14, and his friend are even joining in and committing to running 50km each.

Mr Boys said: “Its been quite an eventful start.   We’ve had two guys who have gone off like an absolute train and have completed almost half of it already!   However my older brother James, he’s only done 4km so far so he’s got quite a lot of work to do before the end of the month to get there.”

If you would like to donate to Mr Boys’ fund raiser you can do so here.

Listen again to our interview with Ollie Boys:

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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