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William’s Story

William is six years old and has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and his brother Conan is four years old. William started to attend the Kingston Playscheme in March 2021, and his younger brother Conan has joined him since on weekend sessions, giving parents Peter and Chloe some much needed respite.

“William likes everything to do with Challengers – he just loves to play! He’s very active and engages in indoor and outdoor activities. He’s non-verbal essentially, so any response can be garnered from whether or not he’s happy when he knows it’s Challengers day – which he always is!! Conan is more apprehensive but settles after several minutes and enjoys playing there – he especially likes to play with the costumes!

For our family, it means the world to have the support that Challengers provides us. Our biggest hurdle as a family is that we never have any time for themselves. We have no support network or family in the area, so our associations are all from other parents at schools and nurseries. Life without Challengers would be a lot more stressful for us as parents, as we both have to work but can never get time off for ourselves, especially not together – so when Challengers said they’d take Conan too it was a HUGE sense of joy and mental relief!

The first time this happened, we had no idea what to do with ourselves! We walked around Kingston aimlessly for the first couple of hours – it was a totally new experience for us both! We went to Greggs for sausage rolls, had a think, and then decided in future that we’d plot our activities in advance! Now we typically do a combination of me time and us time, so for half the time we each do our own thing, whether it’s exercise, working on home projects, etc, and then we take some time together, whether it’s lunch or walks, etc. We never venture far from Kingston as we always want to be within about 20 minutes just in case the boys are unhappy, but so far, they’ve been happy every time, which is such a big relief!

Honestly, we cannot thank Challengers enough for what you do!

Peter, William’s dad