Bognor mum takes on 350,000-step challenge in Walk for Autism

A mum-of-four from Bognor Regis is taking on the 10,000-step Walk for Autism challenge every day for five weeks to raise money to support autistic people.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 1:36 pm
Kaylie and Ben Keen with their children

Kaylie Keen decided to take on the challenge and raise awareness of the condition after her son Harrison was diagnosed with autism last year.

She said: “At first I was upset, the news was daunting, with my stepson Jayden already on the spectrum we didn’t think we’d cope.

“But the support that myself and my family have received has been incredible and that is why I was certain I needed to give something back.”

The perfect opportunity came along when Kaylie saw an advert on Facebook for the Walk for Autism campaign, which encourages people to walk 10,000 steps every day between March 26 and April 2.

But Kaylie wanted to go one step further and take on the challenge for five weeks.

She said: “I’m only a few days in now and my legs are a bit sore but nothing more.

“Having the dogs makes it a lot easier to get up and go out on walks.”

However, Kaylie was not alone in her passion to raise money to help support autistic people.

Her step-daughter, Piper Keen, eight, wanted to walk alongside Kaylie in support for her brothers.

Kaylie said: “I warned her 10,000 steps was a lot and signed her up for 2,000 and ever since she has been smashing 5,000 steps every day and raised £102, so far – I am incredibly proud of her.

“I have raised £182 so far and I am over the moon and have no plans in stopping.”

All the money raised goes towards sheltered housing, special needs teaching and support groups.

While Harrison’s diagnosis has not been easy for Kaylie and her family, it has inspired them.

She said: “Every day is a struggle, but everyday you get through is an achievement.

“My goal for the future is to become a teaching assistant at a special needs school or a support worker for families who are struggling to cope with diagnoses.

“I want all families to be provided with the same incredible support we have had throughout our journey.”

To find out more about Walk for Autism or to donate, visit www.walkforautism.co.uk/fundraisers/kayliekeen