Toby’s Trail 2019

The Toby Henderson Trust (TTHT) is an independently funded charity supporting children and young adults with autism, their families, and carers in the North East.
We are the one and only charity in the North East focused on post-diagnostic support and life-changing early intervention with autistic children and young people.

The Toby Henderson Trust Website (

Around 18 months ago, I saw a course advertised with the Toby Henderson Trust about “sensory issues” that I was interested to attend, priced at £10 for non-members. Since we had no diagnosis of Autism at the time, and I had been misinformed by a professional that the charity “only worked with diagnosed children”, I had never really given much thought to the Toby Henderson Trust as an organisation.

When I emailed to enquire, I added “It’s a shame you don’t work with children pre-diagnosis – I really think Jack would benefit from your service.” The lovely Lynda replied, saying this was untrue and offered to set us up a meeting so we could explore what they had to offer.

Fast forward to now, and Jack has been engaged with the social groups for about 15 months, coming on leaps and bounds and forming very precious friendships with the three other little boys who attend. And so, when a fundraiser like today is occurring, we simply had to be there to support it!

Mother, me and Jack at our table

The big room where Jack’s sessions are held had a huge tombola, a sand art stall, a facepainter, and my mam’s stall, Button-licious. She currently has a project where she’s collecting denim donated by the public, and turning them into handbags, keyrings, aprons, coasters, and other items that can be loved by someone else. Out of every purchase, the profit from each product goes to the Toby Henderson Trust. There was also a raffle, an egg tombola, refreshments, and a van from Northumbria Police.

My baby boy in cuffs in the van!

The main attraction of course, was Toby’s Trail. The trail winds around Earth Balance and the fishing pond, and the children can explore and enjoy all the wildlife and plant life in the area. It’s a fab open space for the kids to run too – essential for autistic kids!

While we didn’t take part in the trail this year, we spent a small fortune on the tombola! There were some awesome prizes. Here is a selection of our wins. My favourite is the Harry Potter colouring book!

Jack took a special liking to this item, however…. it’s a projector that rotates and tells you about all the constellations and little space facts! Jack is absolutely smitten!

It was lovely to see so many of our friends there today (shout outs to Charlotte, Karen, Hannah, Sarah, Keiron, Alison and Joanne!) and the kids were absolutely fabulous. Leo even gave me a nail file he won, the little gentleman that he is.

Last I heard, the total raised was around £3500 – an excellent effort from those involved. We had a wonderful day, doing a fabulous thing for a magnificent cause. To donate to the charity, visit

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