Headshot of man smiling alongside quote graphic

 

Andy Clayton is an autistic entrepreneur and keen runner, who put his sporty talent to use, to raise money for World Autism Awareness Week. Andy put his own twist on our 7k for 700k event, and ran an amazing 177km, in seven counties, over four days! Read Andy's story below to find out what inspired him to take on this impressive challenge. 

I am one of the lucky ones - my Asperger's sometimes causes me to struggle to understand and work with people, but it has also given me special skills. Despite my challenges, I have been able to build a happy and successful life, with a beautiful family, and my own company.

Since being diagnosed last year, I have discovered that less than 20% of autistic people are employed, and I’ve met many autistic people who are really struggling. Some need full-time care, so fundraising is important. But many face the same challenges as me, such as working with people (especially those in authority), and low self-esteem.

So, I chose to run 177km in seven counties in four days challenge for two reasons. The first reason is that I wanted to raise funds to support autistic people who can’t work and require care. And the second reason is that I wanted to share my story, to help inspire other autistic people, and to let them know that they are not alone, and that we can overcome our challenges together.

It was a serious challenge - we ran the hills of the Cotswolds and the Downs, covering over 200km - we even carried all our own kit and tents! It was cold, wet, tiring, and long, but with your help we did it.

I ran with my friend Jon, an amazing entrepreneur, and great support in my life.

Take part in our 7k for 700k challenge