Paul set to run 100km in seven days for Autism Awareness Week
- Credit: Paul Taylor
A Romford man is set to run two-and-a-half marathons for an autism charity that has proven invaluable to his daughter.
Paul Taylor is set to run 100km - or 64 miles - for the Sycamore Trust, in recognition of how the organisation has helped daughter Olivia over the past three years.
He and wife Jemma first brought Olivia to the charity in 2018, where she received help with her communication from its Speak With A Picture (SWAP) team.
Now almost six, Olivia continues to make great strides, with Paul praising the pivotal role played by the trust: "Sycamore Trust has given Olivia another avenue to communicate with us, and even though she’s getting better and better, we still want to stay involved.
"It’s a building process and we never forget the help she received. Me running 100km seems like a struggle, but it’s nothing compared to what they have to do every day.
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"Autism isn’t something that goes away, it’s going to be with us forever, and it will be with all the other children that the trust helps forever, and they are always going to need support."
The 35-year-old is already a keen runner, an important mercy given the task he is to take on.
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In only one week, he's set to run the distance between the charity's hub in the Liberty Centre, Romford, to Colchester town centre.
Undaunted by what's ahead, Paul continued: "We know that Autism Awareness Week is coming up, and I wanted to something challenging. I run at the moment, so I thought I might do seven miles a day for a week but I thought that might not be difficult enough, so I decided to go for 100km in seven days, which is about two and half marathons!
"Hopefully it will attract some attention and you have to give yourself a decent target. I’m not going to go for times, I’m just aiming to get to that distance.”
Alongside being no stranger to running, Paul - together with Jemma - is also a frequent supporter of the trust. The couple made a generous donation last summer after a collection at the funeral of Jemma’s mother, who died in 2020.
He hopes to complete this gruelling effort with a half marathon - ending in Raphael Park - on the final day.
To sponsor Paul, visit virginmoneygiving.com/PaulTaylor255