Monday, 15 April 2024
Monday, 15 April 2024

Dad lacing up his running shoes to thank autism charity that supports his son

A determined dad is putting his best foot forward in taking on a half marathon fundraiser to say “thank you” to the autism charity which supports his son.

Duff Borer is running the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London on Sunday, 8th October, and is gathering sponsorship for the challenge in aid of Berkshire autism charity Prior’s Court.

Prior’s Court is a Berkshire-based charity which provides education and residential care for young people with complex autism aged 5 to 25, helping them to build brighter, more independent futures.

Among the young people supported by Prior’s Court is Duff’s son Fred, 24, who has been with the charity for more than a decade and will soon be moving on to his adult social care placement.

Duff, who lives in Jordans near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, said:

“Prior’s Court has been incredible in understanding Fred’s complex autism, addressing his behaviours brought on by anxiety and basically making him happy. That sentence barely does justice to the immense amount of work, effort, patience and knowledge by so many people in the 10-plus years Fred has been there.

“Previously, I have run half marathons in support of The Fred Foundation, a tiny charity I helped set up to help families with children with autism and named after Fred. Prior’s Court always seemed a much bigger enterprise altogether but this year, Fred’s last at Prior’s Court, I have decided to run for them instead.”

Fred is in residential care at Prior’s Court due to the complex nature of his autism meaning the family home was no longer the best place for him to live – like the other 70-plus young people currently supported by Prior’s Court, which was founded by tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley.

Duff is fundraising for Prior’s Court’s Performing Arts Centre appeal, which will feature adapted facilities to support young people with complex autism to access opportunities in music, dance and drama and the life-enriching benefits this provides.

Individuals with autism face many barriers to accessing the arts – from light and noise sensitivities to understanding of social rules – and one aim of the centre is to mimic theatre environments to prepare young people to access arts venues in the community successfully. This is in addition to having the opportunity day-to-day to express themselves creatively in a dedicated, bespoke space.

Duff has previously run the Royal Parks Half Marathon three times, most recently last year, so has experience of the course.

He added: “It is a great event – Autumn in London’s parks with a few landmarks thrown in and a good crowd cheering you on.

“On the day, I’ll be thinking about Fred and the families that have been supported by Prior’s Court – as well as how far there is still to go!”

To donate to support Duff, go to www.justgiving.com/page/duff-borer-1694635425370

To find out more about Prior’s Court and its Performing Arts Centre appeal, go to www.priorscourt.org.uk

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