Tesco Mums Released from Glass Box
Two Prescot mums have endured 50 hours in a glass box to raise awareness of autism and the work of national charity Caudwell Children.
Tesco customer assistants Steph Battersby, 41, and Lindsey Fairclough, 45, spent from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 September in a 3 x 2 metre glass box in the foyer of Tesco Extra on Cables Retail Park.
Their two-day isolation highlighted the challenges faced by those who live with autism every day.
The pair exited the box to rapturous applause from work colleagues and shoppers, before being presented with a certificate and flowers to mark their achievement.
Steph, whose 15-year-old son Jake has the condition, was delighted by the response of the public to the pair’s lock-in.
As the former Stockbridge Village Comprehensive School pupil explained: “It’s been an emotional and rewarding experience. We’ve met so many wonderful parents who have children with the condition, and parents who were completely unaware of what autism involves.
“Many parents told us, through the glass, that they had had little support and didn’t know who to turn to for help. Our time in the box has allowed us to signpost many families to Caudwell Children. It’s fantastic that they have left the store knowing that the charity is there for them.”
Steph, a keen artist, kept herself amused during her self-imposed solitary confinement by painting a number of acrylic artworks which she says she is going to auction following the event. Proceeds with then go to Caudwell Children, to help them provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Andy Bailey, from Caudwell Children, who supported Steph and Lindsey throughout the challenge, was impressed by the pair’s resilience. He said: “Steph and Lindsey join a growing list of individuals who have selflessly completed the ‘Locked in for Autism’ challenge. And I have to say they were completely unfazed by the experience.
“They remained composed throughout their incarceration and were even unaffected by the stores 24 hour opening times, although though they got little sleep.
“Being local to Prescot, and having worked at the store for 15 years, they were extremely popular and were constantly in demand to be photographed by passing shoppers.”
Andy said that many visitors to the store were unaware of the condition. As he explained: “People were amazed when I told them that autism is the most prevalent condition in the country, with over 133,500 children diagnosed with the disability. I also got the chance tell families all about Caudwell Children’s Autistic Children Therapies (ACT) programme, which provides a series of therapies, education, dietary and nutritional interventions to autistic children.”
Something that was evident throughout the challenge, said Andy, was the generosity of the Merseyside public. As he concluded: “Shoppers were extremely generous and we were inundated with donations to the charity. I would urge people to recognise Steph and Lindsey’s efforts by supporting them through their Just Giving page. By adding to the charity coffers you will enable even more children and young people, across Merseyside, to access our services”
You can support Steph and Lindsey through their Just Giving page, or by texting ‘LIFA55’ with the amount £3, £5 or £10 to 70070.
You can find out more about Caudwell Children at www.caudwellchildren.com.