Brother and sister duo complete 70-mile charity walk in memory of their mum
A brother and sister who sadly lost their mother to covid have completed a 70 mile fundraising walk from Bangor to Llay.
Andrew Edwards and his sister, Melanie, took on the challenge in memory of their mother Hazel, who died in 2020.
Hazel had dedicated her life to raising awareness and campaigning on autism, in particular through working with Your Space in Wrexham, a charity that supports children and those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.
So far, they have raised nearly £6,000.
Andrew was diagnosed at four years old in 1989 when a specialist told his mother: “Go home and watch Rain Man. In all probability, your son will be institutionalised.”
However Hazel set out to prove the specialists wrong.
Today, Andrew is the Fundraising Assistant for Your Space, working in their resource centre which is dedicated to providing support to children with autism and their families. The facility provides a specialist sensory room for children.
He was keen to expand the space to include an outdoor community and sensory garden, so that users of Your Space could experience the joys of plants and nature within a safe and welcoming environment.
The sensory garden will be dedicated to their mum, Hazel – acting as a legacy for the work which she put into Your Space.
Arriving back in Llay, there were tears of joy as a surprise unveiling of a commemorative plaque dedicating to the garden to Hazel had been erected without Andrew or Melanie’s knowledge.
The pair were joined on the last leg of their walk by Carolyn Thomas, Member of the Senedd for North Wales.
Commenting on their fundraising achievement, Carolyn Thomas MS said: “I was so impressed when I first visited Your Space and met Andrew.
“It was obvious that his determination was unstoppable so I was really pleased to be asked to join him and Melanie on the final leg of their 70 mile journey.”
The walk was designed to support Your Space, which celebrates its 10 year anniversary next year, in their fundraising efforts to install the sensory community garden on their premises in Llay.
Rachel Hancocks, Head of Service at Your Space said: “As a small charity with a big reach, we are always bowled away by the passion of those who support us.
“Andrew and Melanie have gone through a very difficult time since the loss of their Mum.
“To turn this into a positive and to be able to undertake this challenge in such adversity and raise what they have is an achievement to be very proud of.”
Carolyn Thomas MS added: “Your Space has supported over 250 families across the Wrexham area and plays a vital role in supporting those with autism. A huge congratulations to Andrew and Melanie for their achievement in completing this walk.”
The link to the fundraising appeal can be found here: https://localgiving.org/appeal/HazelDaviesMemorialAutismSensoryGarden/
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