Stevenage dad takes on 24-hour gaming challenge for autism charity that supports his son

PUBLISHED: 08:30 15 March 2020

Matt Clarke says his son Tristan is receiving incredible support from TRACKS Autism in Stevenage. Picture: Courtesy of TRACKS (Autism)

Matt Clarke says his son Tristan is receiving incredible support from TRACKS Autism in Stevenage. Picture: Courtesy of TRACKS (Autism)

Archant

A devoted dad is gearing up to play Xbox games non-stop for 24 hours to raise money for a charity which has provided life-changing support for his autistic son.

Matt Clarke has so far raised more than £600 in sponsorship, all of which will be donated to TRACKS (Autism) in Stevenage - a specialist early years centre for children with an autistic spectrum condition.

Matt's son, three-year-old Tristan, has autism and has been attending TRACKS since September last year.

Matt, who lives in Stevenage, said: 'We cannot thank the staff enough for the dedication and hard work they put into every session.

'Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.

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'Tristan is currently non-verbal and finds social interactions extremely distressing, but he is the most loving boy.

'The prospect of nurseries was so scary for my wife Faye and I because we were so worried about how Tristan would cope in a mainstream nursery setting. We heard about TRACKS and organised a visit and knew it was right for Tristan. All the staff are so caring and committed to what they're doing.'

Matt will be streaming the entire 24-hour gaming marathon - which is set to start at 2pm on April 3 - on mixer.com/Matt4Tracks and is encouraging people to watch, join in or message.

He said: 'TRACKS receives no government or local authority funding and that's why I'm taking part in this charity stream to raise money for a fantastic cause that we are so grateful to have access to.

'Please give anything you can. Every donation counts towards helping this wonderful nursery continue to help children like my Tristan thrive and succeed.'

Matt's charity challenge is taking place during Autism Awareness Week (March 30 to April 5), which aims to increase understanding of the condition.

To sponsor Matt, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Matt4Tracks

For more about TRACKS - which has gained Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society - visit tracks-autism.org.uk.

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