Anandita, an autistic teenager from Bristol, has shaved her hair to fundraise for Gympanzees. She says the charity has helped boost her confidence by providing a safe space to exercise and meet others.
Anandita was recently diagnosed as autistic at age 15, and she has been trying to find ways to make her life more manageable.
“As a disabled person, I’m always looking for ways to make my life more accessible. I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, my sensory difficulties have gotten significantly worse, and I’ve become much more sensitive to how each hair feels on my head and skin. I decided to shave my hair to help make my life more manageable and thought, why not support Gympanzees in the process!”
Gympanzees have been running pop-up play and exercise centres for disabled children and young people during the Easter and Summer holidays whilst fundraising for a permanent home in the city.
Anandita said, “So many disabled children and young people such as myself struggle to access inclusive play, fitness and leisure activities, but thanks to visiting Gympanzees me and so many others can exercise, play and socialise together.”
Anandita set an initial fundraising target which has now been smashed, and donations continue to flood in for the teenager.
Anandita said, “Before recently, I’d never fundraised, I had little knowledge on how to do it, and I wasn’t even aware that literally, anyone could do it. I feel so happy that we could meet and go beyond my target!”
“Gympanzees gives me a space where I feel included, accepted, and encouraged to be myself – I don’t just feel my disabilities and additional needs are being tolerated. I am celebrated for who I am, and that’s why I’m fundraising for Gympanzees, as that is something every single person should get to experience in their life.”
You can support Anandita’s Go Fund Me page here