Harley has known that he is autistic since he was diagnosed when he was 3. We call it his Superpower. He likes to chat and often when we are out and about he may strike up a conversation with someone, tell them that he is ’tistic (as he puts it!) and ask them if they know what that means… He likes to tell them that it means he is a Superhero. 

When Harley was 4 he decided he wanted to visit a particular theme park. I knew that he would struggle and find it overwhelming – so many places are still not set up to really support children and young people with additional needs. So I suggested to him that we could have fun doing something a bit more familiar and closer to home. 

“Do they need more money so they can help more ’tistic people Mummy?” he asked me. Once he had that thought he wasn’t letting it go and would often say to me that he wanted to give money to the ’tistic boys and girls so they can go out and have fun. And that’s where the idea for Harley’s Walk for SPACE came from.

Harley's t-shirt says 'Harley's 3 miles for SPACE'

Once we had decided we were going to do something to raise money doing it on behalf of SPACE was a no-brainer. I am still amazed at the general lack of support available for autistic children and their families. But SPACE has helped us with so much stuff!  I have been a member of the SPACE Facebook group since Harley was first referred by the health visitor and it has been an amazing source of information and support for us. I’ve posted on the group many times now and the parents on there always come up with suggestions and answers we would never have thought of. 

We set out to walk 3 miles, although we actually ended up doing closer to 5 because once we started walking he didn’t want to stop! Harley loves cars and so we chose a route where there would be plenty of car-spotting opportunities… The highlight was seeing a-half-a-car-car which he was fascinated by. We also took a picnic and stopped off at his Auntie’s en route to eat our picnic lunch in the garden on the trampoline which he absolutely loved.

Afterwards he was very tired (as was I!). But he was very excited to have done it and I was of course super proud of him. He really is a Superhero.

The back of Harley's t-shirt says 'Autism is my Superpower'

We set out to raise £100 and ended up raising over £500 including a generous donation from Jake Quickendon of X-Factor and I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here and Dancing on Ice fame. Jake has ADHD and donated after I asked if he could share Harley’s fundraising link on Twitter.

We are currently plotting our next fundraising adventure so watch this SPACE…!

A huge thank you to Stacey and Harley for sharing their story and raising money so generously for SPACE.

We simply couldn’t do what we do without the active involvement of our families and the local community – it is your support that consistently enables us to help families when they need it the most.

Whether you have an idea or just ‘the wish’ to do something and get involved in fundraising for us, we would love to talk to you – please get in touch.