TELEVISION presenter Pam Royle is to send hundreds of walkers on their way as they raise funds for a North-East charity.

Pam, the face of North-East television for nearly 40 years, stepped down last year from her role as the main presenter for ITV News Tyne Tees and Border.

She has just been unveiled as a patron of the North East Autism Society (NEAS) and her first official role for the charity will be starting the ‘Walk For Acceptance’ at Herrington Country Park, in Sunderland, on Friday, April 22.

The popular annual event has had to be postponed for the past two years because of the pandemic but organisers are hoping for a big turn-out for its long-awaited return.

Pam said: “It’s a huge honour to become a patron of such a wonderful charity, and I’m thrilled that my first official duty will be to start the Walk For Acceptance. I know it’s always a lovely family event and, after the frustrations of lockdown, I’m sure the participants will be raring to go.”

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Entry costs £5 per adult, with under-18s free, and registration takes place between 10am and 10.45am in front of the Amphitheatre in the park. Car parking is available and the walk, comprising one lap of the boating lake, begins at 11am.

Entry includes an activity booklet with fun ideas for families to try during their walk, a place in the draw to win a luxury Easter hamper, and a finisher’s certificate. All children taking part will receive a treat as well as a certificate.

NEAS fundraising manager Kevin Meikle said: “The Walk For Acceptance is one of our most popular events of the year and we can’t wait to see it back at Herrington Country Park after a gap of two years. Entries have been going really well but we’d love to hit the 500-mark for our first year back.”

A Virtual Walk For Acceptance is also being staged for those who are unable to make it to the park.

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Meanwhile, NEAS is staging an all-day Acceptance Matters Virtual Conference over Zoom on April 28, as World Autism Acceptance Month draws to a close.

It follows the success of an inaugural virtual conference last year, when more than 500 delegates turned in from countries around the world, including the UK, Ireland, Croatia, Denmark, Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, UAE, Canada, America and Lithuania.

Speakers this year are: Cos Michael, Priscilla Eyles, Dr Amy Pearson, Krysia Waldock, and Emily Lees.

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