Shefford dad and friends take on charity challenge for autism charities in Biggleswade and Clifton

Keith Purslow

Keith Purslow - Credit: Archant

A father and two friends are taking on a charity challenge double header to raise money for two autism groups which ‘saved his family’.

Rob Hughes. Credit: Sussex Sport Photography

Rob Hughes. Credit: Sussex Sport Photography - Credit: Sussex Sport

Andy Newton decided he should drum up some cash for two charities, Biggleswade-based The Avenue and Outside In Solutions in Clifton, as a thank you for the help they have offered to his son Max, who has ADHD and is on the autistic spectrum.

Along with his fellow Sky television colleague Rob Hughes and old Henlow FC team-mate Keith Purslow, Andy has been training for the last 16 weeks towards taking on both the Farnham Pilgrim Marathon on Sunday and the Purbeck Marathon seven days later.

The trio have already raised more than a thousand pounds for the two charities already, but Andy is determined to shine the spotlight even more on both organisations.

The 45-year-old said: “Without a shadow of a doubt finding help from Outside-In and later from The Avenue saved our family.

Andy and Max Newton.

Andy and Max Newton. - Credit: Archant

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“No-one else had the skills or experience to really change what felt like a doomed life, into one of hope.

“These support groups provide tools on a subject that is usually invisible and often manifests its darkest side at home.

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“Parts of society are oblivious to these conditions and can misjudge situations as naughty behaviour, when the reality is a child dealing with sensory overload, fear, and severe anxiety.

“This only adds to the already tricky situation for the family.

“We will suffer through training and if we finish these marathons we will have gone through plenty of pain barriers, by choice.

“But its nothing compared to the relentless struggles faced by kids and families living with autism and ADHD.”

To help the trio’s cause you can search for run4autismADHD at

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