Gary and Jack with Cherry Bear

Gary and Jack with Cherry Bear

Gary Bailey, an avid Cherries fan, is taking part in the Onesie Walk at AFC Bournemouth to raise funds and awareness for Autism Wessex.

With his family, Gary will don his onesie and walk the grounds for 90 minutes on Saturday 22nd March.  Gary has made the decision to take part after his son, Jack, was diagnosed with autism last year.

Gary comments “Jack finds it difficult to do lots of things that most other people take for granted.  He finds social situations and communicating with others very tough which causes him a lot of anger and frustration.  This makes family life quite difficult and although Jack and I have our unique bond, there have been a lot of barriers over the years”.

In September 2013 Gary decided to take Jack to an AFC Bournemouth match, which is when they discovered their special connection. Jack loved everything about the day out including having lunch, buying a new football shirt, chanting, goals, saves and the final whistle.

Gary continues “Going to the match has proved to be really enjoyable for both me and Jack so we regularly attend the Bournemouth games.  It has become our special, quality time together. This time has really helped me understand Jack’s needs and I feel connected to my boy again.

“I am delighted to be taking part in the Onesie Walk, at my local football club, whilst wearing a onesie and supporting a great charity that has offered, and will continue to offer, my family such valuable support”.

Autism Wessex is the regional charity that supports anyone affected by autism.  While there is no cure for autism, Autism Wessex believes that with appropriate education, support or care and by making the world an easier place to understand, the impact of autism can be reduced and people with autism can be active citizens enjoying maximum independence and a good quality of life.

Paul Reade, Community and Events Fundraising Officer says “We are delighted Gary and his family have signed up to the Onesie Walk, the charity relies heavily on donations from the public and it’s events like this that help us to raise vital funds which enable us to continue supporting those in our community affected by autism. Please help us make a difference and join Gary and Jack on the Onesie Walk”.

There are still spaces, to sign up to the Onesie Walk visit or call 01202 703597.

To donate visit Gary’s Just Giving Page –


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