A national children’s charity is looking for a suitable volunteer from Burton-upon-Trent, Derby and the surrounding area, to help them raise awareness of autism, the most prevalent disability in the UK.
Caudwell Children, who provide practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, is bringing their much publicised public awareness campaign ‘Locked in for Autism’ to Burton-upon-Trent on Wednesday 22nd July 2015.
The campaign sees a volunteer spending 50 hours living inside a 3 x 2 metre glass box located in the foyer of a Tesco superstore.
And the charity is appealing for a local volunteer to place themselves in self-imposed solitary confinement at the Tesco Superstore, St Peters Bridge, Burton-upon-Trent, DE14 3RJ from 12:00pm (Midday) on Wednesday 22nd July 2015, until 2:00pm on Friday 24th July 2015.
Andy Bailey, from Caudwell Children, explained that it was the mother of one of the charity’s beneficiaries who gave the charity the idea of the challenge. He said: “She explained that living with a child with autism was like living in a glass box. She said that being visible from every angle, unheard and with little ability to communicate, was a perfect metaphor for the condition.
“We understand that it’s not necessarily like this for every family but it’s an incredibly powerful sight, seeing an individual in our glass box. They look so lonely and isolated in such a busy retail space.”
Andy said that Caudwell Children staff will be on hand throughout the challenge to discuss, with interested shoppers, the condition and how the charity supports those with autism.
Whilst he’s keen to hear from individuals who have some connection or understanding of the condition, Andy says that it doesn’t preclude those who don’t. As he explained: “Whilst we’ve had the parents of autistic children in the box, we’ve also had volunteers from the local community who haven’t the faintest idea of what the condition involves.
“However, we find that the box acts as a magnet to shoppers who have some experience of the condition and they often spend time discussing, with our staff, how it’s impacted on their life.”
The campaign has received considerable media attention and has featured in regional and national press, radio and television.
Andy says that the volunteer will need to be comfortable living in a public space for 50 hours. As he explained: “You have to be a certain type of person to be able to live, sleep and entertain yourself in the glare of the public. Whilst it can be quite intimidating it’s a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
It’s hoped that the challenge will also raise much needed funds for Caudwell Children’s Autistic Children’s Therapies (ACT) Programme, a series of therapies, education, dietary and nutritional interventions for autistic children.
Potential volunteers can contact Andy 01782 600867 or you can email him at email@example.com
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