35-mile charity aim is close to the heart for keen walker Mark
DETERMINED Mark Davis plans to take on the Grit Stone Trail for new group Autism Inclusive.
The 43-year-old, from Bosley, has so far raised £155 for the charity and is aiming for £300 before taking on the walk in July.
The Grit Stone Trail runs 35-miles from Disley to Kidsgrove.
Special needs tutor Mark plans to complete the trail in one day.
He said: “I have always been an avid walker and go most weekends.
“I’ve chosen the Grit Stone Trail because it is local to Cheshire and it is the right distance to serve as a tough challenge for one day’s walking.
“I’m trying to increase the amount of running I do to increase my fitness.
“It is going to be an incredible challenge but I should manage to do it.”
Mark’s wife, Gill, 39, was diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome in 2013.
He said: “Autism Inclusive has done a lot for me on a personal level.
“It was shocking to find out there is so little support for people with asperger’s and autism.
“It is unbelievable how essential places like Autism Inclusive are as support groups.”
Father-of-two Mark, who lives on Lakeside with Gill and their two children Andrew, four, and Kimberly, three, said going to the meetings had given his wife a great deal more confidence and understanding of her condition.
He added: “My wife started meeting other people with similar conditions and said it was the first time she had ever felt she fitted in somewhere.
“Being able to meet people who have been through the same things and are in the same boat has been so important.”
Mark’s son Andrew has also been diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum and he has been attending parent support meetings.
Mark added: “It is good to be able to meet people who are dealing with the same issues – often much worse.
“I’m hoping places like Autism Inclusive will be able to give him support when he is older.”
Mark said the Crewebased group, which covers all of east Cheshire, desperately needed more funding and he was pleased to be able to help.
He said: “They help with all kinds of things – such as helping people with asperger’s find housing and benefits, and they also act as advocates and offer advice.
“It is an important support network.”
Anyone who wishes to donate to the cause can do so at www. gofundme.com/ autisminclusive
●● Mark Davis