This challenging expedition aims to raise £9,000 in support of three incredible charities 


The National Autistic Society is the leading UK charity for autistic people (including those with Asperger syndrome) and their families. Around 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum. Together with their families they make up around 2.8 million people whose lives are touched by autism every single day.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.

Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

People with autism have said that the world, to them, is a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable anxiety. In particular, understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family and social life may be harder for them. Other people appear to know, intuitively, how to communicate and interact with each other, and some people with autism may wonder why they are 'different'.

The charity provides information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people on the autism spectrum:

  • pioneering schools and adult services
  • information and advice for autistic people, friends and families
  • support for professionals
  • social change work

World Autism Awareness Week takes place takes place from Saturday 2 April to Friday 8 April 2016 - two weeks prior to the start of the expedition.


The Winnicott Foundation raises funds to improve care for premature and sick babies through supporting the neonatal units at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, and Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, Hammersmith, by:

  • helping to save the lives of premature and sick newborn babies
  • helping families to be with their babies
  • helping to give premature and sick babies a better long-term future

The Winnicott Foundation works with staff and parents to meet the long-term and day-to-day needs of babies and families and of the neonatal units. The charity goes above and beyond what the NHS is able to provide and funds:

  • medical research
  • specialist high-tech life saving equipment
  • materials and equipment to make babies more comfortable such as gel pillows, cot and incubator covers, to reduce noise and light, and, special baby clothes
  • parent support, including help with travel costs and hotel accommodation for families whose babies have been transferred into the units or are very sick
  • family rooms and nursery environment, such as reclining cotside chairs to help with skin-to-skin cuddles and breastfeeding, TV, PC and internet access, and refurbishment of the parent bedrooms and sitting room
  • staff training: helping to increase skill levels in the neonatal unit
  • books, information bereavement support, a hardship fund and parent support groups

Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism. They provide services, raise awareness and understanding, and campaign for change. Through TreeHouse School and Ambitious College they offer specialist education and support and their ambition is to make the ordinary possible for more children and young people with autism.