From Catwalk to Car Boot in a Woolly Bobble Hat
On the 13th April former Limesquare driver Robbie Bouchier took part in the London Marathon, one of the great British sporting events. He ran the gruelling 26 miles 385 yards long course for the charity Ambitious about Autism, completing the course in a creditable 6 hours and 4 minutes. He chose this particular charity to run for because, as he explains: "My little brother has autism so deciding the charity to run for was easy. The money raised will help people and families living with autism."
Autism (or Autistic Spectrum Disorder) is a condition that affects about one in every hundred people (the percentage being about three or four times higher in men than women). The ways in which the condition manifests itself, and the problems that it causes, are different in each individual, but at its core it is a disability which affects both the way a person communicates with and relates to people around them, and their experience of the world around them. It means, quite literally, that people on the Autistic Spectrum think and function differently from most people.
Only identified in the 1940s by two Austrian psychologists, Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, the scientific understanding of the condition is still an ongoing process, but it is known that it is caused by differences (not defects) in the structure of the brain, and can be passed on through families. Autism is a lifelong condition: it is not just children that suffer from it, but because of the comparatively recent identification of the condition, many autistic adults remain undiagnosed and unhelped.
Many people on the Autistic Spectrum need special provisions for education and for many other areas of their lives. Their condition may be incurable, but with the proper help and intervention it may be improved to enable them to function better in what most of us consider to be the 'normal' world. The funding for this is one of the main functions of Charities such as Ambitious about Autism, along with raising awareness of the condition amongst the public at large, amongst whom there is still widespread ignorance about this common condition (hopefully alleviated a little by the recent Horizon programme on Autism) (www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk)
To enter the London Marathon, Robbie needed to raise £2000. To help him to do this, Limesquare Vehicle Rental kindly donated a Volkswagen Transporter van that collected items from various friends and family, and Maxine Warren donated her time along side Robbie's Mum to do a car boot sale in Milton Keynes on the 23rd March to raise some extra funds.
Maxine didn't realize that this would entail such an early start in the freezing cold! Scraping the ice off the screen they set off at 6am. To combat the cold, Maxine wore two jumpers and a fleece. Moreover, having recently modelled designer clothes on the catwalk, Maxine now decided to model herself on Compo (Bill Owen's character in 'Last of the Summer Wine') by wearing a woolly bobble hat, which served as a great source of amusement to one of her Customers who happened to see her there (he did make amends with a donation).
Overall they succeeded in raising £197.00, and they thank everyone who purchased on the day. Robbie was grateful for Limesquare's assistance: "I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations".
Robbie in fact exceeded his target of £2000, but further donations to this worthy cause are still welcome. If anyone would like to make a donation, you can do so via the following link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RobbieBouchier Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this.
Unfortunately Maxine says that the bobble hat will never be seen again, but we think she looks quite natty in it. Perhaps we should have a vote across the group to persuade her to reinstate it?
By Stephen Barnard