Tommy and David both work in a residential home in Dereham for autistic adults run by the charity Autism Anglia.

Both agree without doubt that they have faced the most difficult challenge of their careers: looking after vulnerable residents throughout the pandemic.

Tommy said: We care so much for our residents and the challenge becomes more difficult when many of our residents are unable to fully understand the situation or communicate their worries.

We have worked hard to disrupt their routines as little as possible and provide new opportunities within the house and garden through the lockdown.

There have definitely been many times that the line between work and home life have become extremely blurred.

Pictured: David and Tommy 

It’s for this reason that Tommy and David decided they needed a challenge that would take them out of the house.  They are aiming to walk 500km throughout August and raise funds for the charity that will be used to improve the garden and activities for the people they support.

Tommy added: It started as just something to do but we quickly realised that we could really push ourselves and raise funds at the same time.

And push themselves they have, they have already covered  239km and raised £190 towards the cause.

The challenge has seen them cover Dereham and surrounding villages.

Both Tommy and David will soon be taking on a coastal route to keep up the kilometres and plan to take up routes between Wells and Sherringham, pitching a tent for the night in between.

The pair shared that the first walk they completed was probably the toughest, they were aiming for 15 miles.  They told us that it must have been obvious they were struggling as at the 12 mile point, a kind hearted lady pulled over and offered them a lift!

Pictured: The garden they would like to transform

David said: It’s been a great opportunity to discover new areas and routes that we weren’t aware of before and we plan to take our residents to these places too.

However, it has been more challenging than we thought. We both work shifts so trying to find the time to get together is hard enough, we’ve been having to set off as early as 5.30am some mornings!

We also underestimated how hard the walking would be, it’s certainly taken the toll on our feet!

We don’t mind though, we know how important the cause is and we have been blown away by the support so far.

Tommy and David are appealing for donations for their challenge, you can sponsor them at

If you would like to take on a challenge to raise vital funds for Autism Anglia, CLICK HERE

To find our more about Autism Anglia's services Norfolk CLICK HERE