11 July 2017
Wales Green Party’s Policy Development Coordinator, Christopher Evans, is undertaking a charity trek starting 13th July for two Autism charities in Wales.
Christopher Evans, who stood as a parliamentary candidate for Wales Green Party in June’s snap election and works as a service advisor in the library at Swansea University, will take just over two weeks to walk from Chepstow to St Davids. He is hoping to finish the walk on 27th July.
On the way, Chris will stop in Newport, Penarth, St Donats, Margam, Mumbles, Rhossili, Bynea, Ferryside, St Clears, Tenby, Freshwater West, Neyland, Martin’s Haven and Solva. He plans to walk approximately 40 kilometers each day, carry a full pack along the way including camping equipment.
Chris said: “Autism is a developmental disorder which affects an increasing number of children in Wales. Extra funding is needed to ensure that children and adults with the condition receive all the help and support they can get. The current system is letting down many families and individuals who are unable to get the help they so desperately need.
“Cash constraints on LEAs make it difficult for families to get the funding they require for extra support to ensure that children get all the help they need to flourish to the best of their abilities. Adults are being left vulnerable to cuts in funding forced on local councils’ social services departments by the current Government’s unacceptable austerity programmes. The WAG needs to do more for the families where one of the members is autistic and listen to their concerns when drafting legislation.
“We also need much more education for everyone to understand the condition better, as we still get comments such as “she doesn’t look autistic” or “rainman”. My daughter who was diagnosed last year has benefited from play schemes and days out run by the Swansea Chinese Support Group. The National Autistic Society do fantastic work raising the profile of autism and help individuals and families every day.
“I hope this walk will help to raise funds for services to continue and also to raise awareness of the condition so people understand autism better, and adapt their own behaviours to make the lives of autistic people a little easier on a day to day basis.”
Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party deputy leader, said: “I take my hat off to Chris to be completing the hiking challenge to raise the profile of autism in Wales. The recent news that the Welsh Government is pledging an extra £7m on a national autism service is great. We also need to ensure that diagnosing autism does not take an unnecessarily long time so that families impacted don’t come under needless stress not knowing what the issue that they are facing might be. This can create tremendous stress to everyone affected.”
Chris is completing the challenge for The National Autistic Society and the Swansea Special Needs Chinese Parent Support Group. His Just Giving page for the NAS can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-evans55. A local giving one for the Swansea charity can be found here: https://localgiving.org/fundraising/swanseachinesecoopcentre/.
Chris invites locals to walk with him along the way. He said: “Anyone is welcome to join me for a day walking along the way, particularly if you know the local history or nature. I am looking forward to some interesting discussions along the way.”