We caught up with Sophie Walker, leader of the Women's Equality Party, mother to an autistic daughter and a proud member of #TeamAutism for this year's Royal Parks half marathon. Sophie chatted to us about the event and why she's looking forward to crossing the finish line!

Why are you taking part in the Royal Parks half marathon again?

My daughter recently completed her GCSEs and looking back on her amazing progress really reminded me of how much being part of the National Autistic Society and its work had helped me to help her. She continues to inspire me and teach me every day. So I'm running the Royal Parks to say thank you to both her and the NAS.

What inspired you to join #TeamAutism and raise money for the National Autistic Society?  

I am running for the NAS because it stands for everything I believe in and cherish: tolerance, compassion and dignity for people relegated to the margins by a society that doesn't value difference or those who care for the people who are 'different.' I joined the NAS when my elder daughter was diagnosed with autism. Its helpline service patiently supported and advised me when local authorities, medical professionals and education specialists let me down and its online community of parents and carers helped me find resilience in shared experiences. I am running so that all of this important work can be funded and continued for the benefit of everyone.

What did you enjoy most about running the Royal Parks half and being part of #TeamAutism? 

I've run the Royal Parks before and it's a beautiful course, with great spectator support. It's a real pleasure to run it. I feel as though I'm part of #TeamAutism every day I go out to battle for the rights of autistic people. Running the Royal Parks with the team feels like a celebration of the work we do the other 364 days a year!

What you are looking forward to most about it?

Crossing the line!


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