Run for Autism HAND annual event
Hundreds of runners and walkers took to the roads last Saturday to mark 10 years of the annual ‘Run for Autism’ event.

Hundreds of runners and walkers took to the roads on Saturday 7th October 2017 to mark 10 years of the annual ‘Run for Autism’ event.

The annual event raises awareness of autism and all proceeds support local charity ‘Run for Autism HAND’ which helps those living with Autism, and their families in the Southern area across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and Newry, Mourne and Down Districts.

A stream of colourful walkers headed off from Newtownhamilton and made the 10 mile journey to Lissummon followed by hundreds of professional and amateur runners who took part in the Half Marathon and 10 mile road race.

Huge turnout for annual Run for Autism HAND

Delighted by the huge turnout at this year’s 10th anniversary, Chairman of the charity, Sean Quinn said: “I am so overwhelmed with the huge turned out yet again. Every year it amazes me how the numbers continue to grow. I am so grateful to each and everyone who came out in support to help us raise awareness and funds for autism especially as we celebrate 10 years.  If it weren’t for the large numbers of walkers and runners who attend, this event would not take place.  I am also indebted to all the volunteers who year after year put all their efforts into making this annual event a success and to all the local businesses and friends for their kind sponsorship and donations.”

Run for Autism HAND
Taking part in Saturday’s Run for Autism HAND

Sean continued: “The first run for autism took place back in 2007 when my friends Pat and Jim McManus and I decided to organize it for a bit of fun and following that I set up the charity and well it has just blossomed since then. Every penny we raise goes towards autism, all our members are volunteers. The funds are distributed to local autism groups, schools with special needs classes and charities which help individuals with autism and their families through summer schemes, equipment and autism-friendly facilities. We are proud to have supported dozens of projects over the last 10 years right across the Southern area which has benefited so many individuals and families, and with continued support we will continue with this important work for another 10 years.”

Follow Run for Autism Hand on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and developments for Run for Autism HAND.

Photographs by George Connolly – look out for our picture special in the November edition of The Mourne Advertiser