Lindsay, mum to a little boy diagnosed with ASD and eager gym goer, told us of how her and her gym buddies got involved with World Autism Awareness Week’s virtual event, 7k for 700k!

What did you do for 7k for 700k?

My friend and I decided to set ourselves the challenge of running 7K a day for 7 days and then asked other friends if they would like to get involved too. We have a great group at our local gym, Zone Fitness Neston, and some pretty incredible people decided to join Liz Ellis and I in raising awareness and money.

  • Iain Colligan from SFA Coaching and Matthew Holt completed 7 rounds of golf back to back at Heswall Golf Club. They started at 4.30am and finished just after 7pm!
  • Andrew Booth (Boothy) from Viking Fitness decided to row the distance of a marathon, 42K’s!!!
  • Sean Brady from Sean Brady Performance lifted 78kgs for 77 reps
  • Liz Ellis of LLZ fitness and I ran 7k every day for 7 days
  • Charlotte Finnigan form CA Fitness completed 700 burpees a day for 7 days. However, she didn’t stop at that and rounded it up to 5000! On day 6 she was joined by Dawn Booth and Amy Norman and they smashed it!
  • Nik Ellis from Whitfield Business completed 7 x 77 minute workouts, 7x 7k runs and 7x 7K bike rides!
  • Gayton Primary School all wore an item of blue to school on the last day of term and the children donated to the Just Giving Page 
  • Andrew Summer ran 10k a day for 7 days!! 

All of these challenges were done throughout March and World Autism Awareness Week. Zone Fitness are hosting our final 7K Fun Run on 22 April.

All of our printing materials were very kindly produced and printed by Whitfield Business Hub. This was a tremendous show of support for our great efforts and helping us spread the word. 

Why did you want to do the 7k challenge?

I got an email from the National Autistic Society about the challenge. I wanted to do something to help raise awareness and make people think about what autism actually is, how it affects people and how their understanding can make a huge difference. 

What did you like about the 7k challenge?

I loved the '7' theme and the inspiration it gave us all to do something around that number.

What does World Autism Awareness Week mean to you?

It is a time to raise awareness, and an opportunity to reach out to people who maybe think they know but don’t really understand autism or how it affects people.

How did you and your friends raise money?

I set up a Just Giving Page and asked Whitfield Business Hub if they could create posters with the list of challenges we were doing. They created and printed these for free and also helped to promote it (great to get a local business on board!). I shared my Just Giving Page giving page on Facebook and tagged everyone involved - the power of social media! The gym, where some of the challenges were held, also promoted what we were doing. We had a charity bucket there for the rowing challenge. I also had a charity bucket and posters at the golf club where the 7 rounds (back to back) were played. As this was on a Sunday they had a lot of members at the club and this event alone raised over £200 from cash!

I just kept sharing the events and after our 7k for 7 days we shared the time and distance which kept the momentum going. I also shared the poster and Just Giving page with the school my son attends. The headmaster of the school also agreed to dedicate the last day of term to autism awareness and they asked the children to come in non-uniform and donate a suggested amount of £1. This too raised nearly £200.

With our final 7k fun run happening this Sunday at my local gym, we will be using charity buckets and promoting the event through social media. We are currently at £1,900 so we're really hoping to smash £2000 for you guys!

Would you do 7k for 700k again?

Everyone involved would absolutely do this again!!!!

The reason behind all of this is that my son was recently diagnosed with ASD. It has been a steep learning curve but the one thing I have truly learnt since the diagnosis is that if people had a better understanding it would make life that little bit easier along the way. We don’t know what the future will hold but I just want to do everything I can to help others have a better understanding.