Tesco Prescot Workers Locked in Glass Box
Two colleagues from Prescot Tesco Extra have volunteered to spend 50 hours locked inside a glass box to raise awareness of autism.
Steph Battersby, 41, and Lindsey Fairclough, 45, begin their self-imposed solitary confinement at 12 noon on Thursday 17 September.
If successful the pair will exit the box, located in the foyer of the supermarket on Cables Retail Park, at 2pm on Saturday.
Stunt highlights children’s charity
The daring duo are hoping to draw attention to Caudwell Children, a national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Steph, a former pupil at Stockbridge Village Comprehensive School, says that the cause is close to her heart as her 15-year-old son, Jake, is one of the 133,500 children diagnosed with autism in the UK.
Tesco mum has teenage son with autism
“As soon as I heard about this charity fundraising challenge I wanted to do it,” she explained. “Many people are unaware that autism is the most prevalent disability in the country.
“Few understand autism and the way in which it not only affects those with the condition, but also their families.
“Jake struggles with his ability to be sociable and finds it difficult to read people’s emotions, which in turn affects relationships with family and friends.
“His frustrations can develop due to his lack of being able to express himself. This can result in meltdowns which at times can be very challenging. Like most autistic children, Jake’s senses can be heightened which results in over stimulation.
“Jake also finds it difficult to relate with other family members, especially his sister, which can lead to further strains.”
Captive mum will get arty to pass the time
The box measures just 3 by 2 metres, which Steph thinks could be restrictive and even claustrophobic. However, she believes the close friendship she and Lindsey have forged over the years will see them through.
The charity has advised them to plan activities ahead to avoid becoming bored after the initial adrenalin rush.
Steph, a keen amateur painter is inspired by the expressionists works of Van Gogh (pictured), intends to occupy her time by producing a number of acrylic paintings during her stay in the box.
She hopes that the works will convey her emotions whilst in the box.
“My works are a bit abstract and I’ll be painting about how I feel, using my emotions to dictate the content,” she said.
“I’ll then put my finished works outside the box and hopefully sell them to raise money for the charity.”
She says that their families and friends are fully behind their efforts: “Our husbands, James and Graham, think we’re mad, but they desperately want us to succeed. They realise that the challenge could be a real step forward in helping our community to understand autism.
“As parents of an autistic child, James and I are really excited about this opportunity to inform and educate the public. If people leave the store with a greater understanding of the condition, and how Caudwell Children can help those with autism, I’ll be extremely happy!”
Autism support questions answered
Andy Bailey, from Caudwell Children, says a team from the charity will be on hand to answer questions throughout the challenge.
“Steph and Lindsey’s selfless 50-hour lock in will give our staff the opportunity to put Caudwell Children on the map in Prescot,” he said.
“It will allow us to tell interested shoppers about our Autistic Children’s Therapies (ACT) programme, which provides a series of therapies, education, and dietary and nutritional interventions to autistic children. Simply put, the more parents who are aware of ACT the more children we can help.”
You can support Steph and Lindsey online through JustGiving.com.
You can also make a text donation by texting the number 70070 with ‘LIFA55,’ followed by the amount £3, £5 or £10.
Find out more about Locked in for Autism at caudwellchildren.com.