Text next to photo of a man dressed as a penguin in spectrum logo

As our team of ‘jungle runners’ begin their virtual challenge this month, we hear from Ben who is making it more difficult (and more fun!) by dressing as a penguin.

Don’t forget – you can join the challenge now and complete it in your own time throughout August.

My Name Is Ben - I’m 29 years old and originally from London, although I recently moved to settle in Kettering.

I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome aged 11. I have struggled all of my life with getting acceptance at school and in work.

The National Autistic Society helped me to get my current job as a customer assistant through a work placement program, and I have been in this job for almost nine years now! They helped me overcome challenges I was facing to find employment by giving me work experience opportunities and the support I needed to find and stay in work. I had support with CV writing, mock interviews and help with my confidence in the interview process.

I don’t actually have any experience with running. However, I have been going swimming once a week to help improve my fitness so I can enjoy my latest hobby - bodysurfing.

I plan to run 5K in August for the jungle run. My plan is to sign up for one of the free park runs in Wicksteed park, so I don’t have to run on my own and can be supported by others with different abilities. The thing I’m most looking forward to is the run itself - especially as I’m running in a penguin costume! I’m hoping that my costume raises a few eyebrows as well as funds and awareness. I imagine that some of the other runners will ask me why I’m dressed like this, so I can talk to them about autism and raise awareness (and hopefully at least £100).

Wish me luck!

Sign up for Jungle Run


To find out more about how we can support autistic adults looking for work, including our NEW free employment training module, read more here.