Letchworth model Alfie, 11, visits police for autism awareness
PUBLISHED: 14:28 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:07 30 April 2019
Following Autism Awareness Week earlier this month, Hertfordshire police welcomed 11-year-old Letchworth model Alfie Aldridge - who has the condition - for a day with the force.
Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Joint Protective Services Command invited Alfie to visit units in Stevenage and Luton last week.
He has recently become a model for a number of high street brands including H&M and River Island, and strutted his stuff on the catwalk at London Fashion Week.
Alfie had struggled with the condition when he attended a mainstream school and says he was unable to take part in plays or have his school picture taken, but has found modelling has helped him become more confident.
Dad Gary Aldridge said: “It was great for Alfie to be able to come and meet the officers and the police puppy.
“He really does love the police and it was good to be able to share information with them about people who have autism.
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“He has even more respect for the police and he has since shared his experience with his friends in school, and will continue to talk to others about the positive work the police do.
“We would like the thank everyone who was involved in making the visit so special.”
During his visit, Alfie was able to meet officers, see a police car & bike and meet a police puppy at Stevenage station.
He also spent time with the Armed Police Unit in Luton, where he had the opportunity to learn more about policing while teaching officers about what it is like to live with autism.
Paul Fullwood, assistant chief constable for Joint Protective Services, said: “Some great work is already being carried out by the forces to raise awareness of autism.
“I am pleased we were able to support the visit by Alfie to see some of our specialist units and for him to hear about the great work we do.”
World Autism Awareness Week – which ran from April 1 to April 7 this year – is an internationally recognised campaign encouraging people to raise awareness of the condition and raise money for the National Autistic Society.
To find out more about the charity and the campaign, go to www.autism.org.uk.