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River run will make life better for children with autism

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 April 2014

The runs are organised by Ivor Reveley, fourth from left

The runs are organised by Ivor Reveley, fourth from left

Archant

A team of parents, staff and friends at a Bromley-based charity have committed four days over the May bank holiday to running 80 miles from Reading to Tower Bridge along the Thames Path.

Run the River has been organised by Ivor Reveley, 56, who is chairman of trustees at Children on the Autistic Spectrum Parents Association (CASPA).

CASPA was set up in 2002 and works with children, young people and families affected by autism. It runs social clubs, holiday activities, residential trips and an independent living skills programme for over 14s, as well as providing support to the families of people accessing CASPA’s services.

It currently works with 150 children and young people every week primarily at The Link Youth Centre, Orpington, and The Hawes Down Children’s Centre, West Wickham.

“I was thinking of ways of raising money because my son has autism and he went to the club. He started going when he was 13 and he’s 20 now,” said Ivor.

“I combined the good work the charity was doing and the running that I do and put the two together to raise some money for the charity.”

Ivor said that he started running nine years ago. He has previously organised runs from London to Brighton, around the Isle of Wight, along Hadrian’s Wall and the Cornish coastal path to raise money for CASPA.

“Each year we have greatly increased the numbers who do it. People hear stories from the year before and want to do it the next year.

“Most of these runs are a mix of extremely challenging and really enjoyable because there’s all the camaraderie,” Ivor said.

“Some people find different days very challenging. This year because it’s flat we made it a bit longer. This is going to be our biggest run.”

The group has rented three boats on the river where they will be staying between running. The run will take them from Friday to bank holiday Monday.

It’s a tough schedule – they will run two-thirds of a marathon on Friday and Saturday, and on the Sunday a full marathon.

Ivor said: “I am not sure how I’m going to get on with that to be honest, but you have just got to face these things and see how you get on!”

He added that there will be a support team of six waiting to meet the runners at various places along the route with water and snacks.

There will be about 25 people running – 15 of them will be covering the whole distance and 10 will be taking part for a few days.

“This time it gives the opportunity for people just to run a few days, or a day if they can,” he said.

They have so far raised about £7,000 and have a target of £10,000. Over the years of runs, £44,000 has been generated for CASPA.

To donate to the runners undertaking the challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/runtheriver.

For more information about CASPA and the work it does, visit www.caspabromley.org.uk.

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