Over £200,000 has been raised during a 36-hour online fundraising challenge to support autistic children and young people disproportionately affected by Covid-19.   

The Be Ambitious campaign was launched by the Ambitious about Autism charity to provide support to families facing setbacks due to the pandemic. It follows recent research that found 80% of families had support reduced or stopped due to Covid-19. 

It also found that nearly two thirds (63%) of autistic children and young people had worsening mental health than before the outbreak of the pandemic. 

Over the past 12 months, the charity has been providing hundreds of autistic children and young people and their families with urgent care and support, such as the delivery of food parcels, providing online information and support as well as IT equipment for home learning.  

Disruption to vital support will have a long lasting impact  

Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said: “The pandemic has had a disastrous impact on the wellbeing of autistic children and young people. Their worlds have been turned upside down, with routine, structure and predictability stripped away. Meanwhile, disruption to vital support in education, social care and mental health services will have a long lasting and deep impact.   

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we have raised over £200,000 so far - a phenomenal amount of money that will transform the support we are able to provide to help autistic young people recover from this pandemic." 

The campaign was supported by Channel 4 news presenter, Jon Snow, and triathlete, Sam Holness, both ambassadors of Ambitious about Autism.