Empowering People, Launching lives

Sophia’s Big BeyondAutism Sponsored Silence: Even Bigger This Year!

Author: Ana Rodrigues, Marketing & Communications Officer and Marta Martin Perteguer, Deputy Head of Early Years, with Sophia

31st July 2023 | 2 mins read

Last year, Sophia, the 8-year-old sister of Toby from Early Years, inspired us all with her Sponsored Silence challenge for BeyondAutism. And guess what? She’s back at it this year, but this time with an even bigger challenge and an army of support behind her.


For her second Sponsored Silence, Sophia enlisted the help of 18 friends, cousins, and Brownies to join her in the challenge. Together, they embraced the task of staying silent for hours, communicating through pointing and even using some Makaton signs—a form of sign language commonly used by autistic children. It was a true test for these girls, who Sophia humorously mentioned are usually quite chatty. Throughout the day, people couldn’t help but wonder why this lively group was suddenly so quiet, especially during their trip to the ice cream parlour!

After what must have felt like an eternity of silence, the challenge finally came to an end. Sophia and her friends gathered at the local park to celebrate their amazing achievement with a big, joyous scream.

Sophia’s inspiration for embarking on this challenge for the second consecutive year came from her brother, Toby. She witnessed firsthand the positive impact that BeyondAutism Early Years had on Toby’s life, particularly in improving his communication skills and participation in various activities.

“I decided to do a sponsored silence to show empathy to my brother and other kids who cannot yet speak. I wanted to put myself in Toby’s shoes as he has trouble speaking and help him and all the other children like him”.

The results of the challenge were truly incredible. Sophia and her friends managed to raise over £2,000 for BeyondAutism, furthering our mission to provide leading educational services and support to autistic children like Toby. We extend a big thank you to Sophia and her friends for their incredible dedication and effort.

Curious to learn more about Sophia’s experience with the challenge? Check out the video interview below, where you’ll even catch a special appearance from Toby.

Emma’s Lemonade Sale – a sweet inspiration

Inspired by Sophia’s Big BeyondAutism Sponsored Silence, Emma from 4th West Wickham Brownies, where Sophia is also from, organised her own fundraiser. She held a lemonade sale and squeezed 32 lemons to make the refreshing drink. The sale was a huge success, and the lemonade flew off the shelves. A big thank you to Emma for adding to Sophia’s efforts in supporting BeyondAutism’s mission!


Also feeling inspired?  

Anyone, no matter their age, can get involved in fundraising! As Sophia has shown, there’s lots of creative ways to raise money and vital awareness to support autistic children and young adults. You too can make a difference, find out how by visiting our support us section.

Registered Charity No. 1082599. Registered in England and Wales Ltd by guarantee No. 4041459 Registered Office: Ashurst LLP, London Fruit & Wool Exchange, 1 Duval Square, London, E1 6PW