Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Friday 28 July 2017

Happy Friday Crazysails friends

Here we are sitting in pretty (but wet) Tobermory and we thought it was time to give you an update, especially (and unashamedly) focusing on our fundraising and information sharing efforts for the National Autistic Society. We also have some important information to share with you which has been recently given to us by an NAS representative, so please, do take a few moments to read this blog which may also help you understand why we are supporting this important charity.

We have been at see for nearly 2 months now and are pretty much on schedule dates-wise, though, due to the weather, there are places we would have liked to visit that we have had to miss out. We have, however visited some wonderful places and met some really lovely people. Tobermory is both our 21st and 23rd harbour – we popped out for a couple of days to visit Loch D’rum Bui, Loch Sunart and a beautiful, tranquil place called Salen before returning to this lovely, colourful little town. While we have been here and on our interim sailing days we have taken the National Autistic flag out on location to ‘fly the flag’ as it were. Here are some of our photos showing Kairos and ourselves and of course the NAS flag.

We have been touched and at times, amazed by the interest and support we have had from the many harbours and marinas we have stayed In, as well as from passers-by. Many people we have spoken to have a family connection or know of someone with autism; others are interested and have asked us questions about autism itself and also about the NAS and its role in supporting families caring for someone with autism. This made us realise we should do more to share the information we have learned so you in turn can also share so here are some important facts:

Q.What is AUTISM?

A.700,000 people are currently identified as having some level of autism in the UK today.  (NAS –

Q. What is autism anyway?

A. Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and the world around them. (NAS – Not everyone with autism has the same level or same type of problems; typically an individual may be said to be on the autistic spectrum. The spectrum covers a range of conditions (from autism to Asperger’s syndrome) characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behaviour. This means ‘our world’ can be confusing and difficult for a person with autism; too much information causes challenges and difficulties for a person on the autistic spectrum.

Q. What does the National Autistic Society do and why are you supporting them?

A. Many people have asked us why this charity and we have tried to explain this in our crazysails Fundraising page where we invite you to ‘meet William’. William is our nephew and he is profoundly autistic and has many challenges, as do his family in supporting and nurturing someone at the very extreme of the autistic spectrum. Sadly, William isn’t the only link with autism we have, as a cousin’s youngest son is also on the spectrum. If you haven’t read this page on our site, please do as it will help you understand why this is a charity close to our hearts.


THE NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY is a British charity founded in 1962, whose role is  to improve the lives of people with autism in the UK. As autism is not a curable condition, those diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum are likely to require some level of support throughout their lives. Often it is the parents and carers of those with autism who require advice and support from the NAS in order to give the care and support their family member (or the person they are caring for) needs. The NAS has the knowledge and experience to be able to provide some of this support and certainly to signpost and advise where support needs to come from other sources, such as local authorities.

Q. How does it spend the money we donate?

Here are some of the very practical ways the NAS puts money donated to use, so it helps the people who need it most.

  • The NAS Parent-to-Parent service helps 850 parents each year
  • NAS  Education Advice lines helped 2,628 people last year
  • The NAS Helpline helps more than 20,000 people annually (this includes by phone, email, letter and text
  • NAS branches have more than 23,000 beneficiaries each year
  • Creating an accessible and relevant website – the NAS website had 4.2 million individual visitors last year
  • 97p in every £1 goes directly towards supporting autistic people and their families.

We hope this post has helped you understand where any money you have donated is spent. If you have donated, can we thank you very, very much. If you have taken one of our leaflets and have shared the information or the blog details can we again thank you so much. We are now around 66% of our target figure an around half way in our sailing challenge. We are not very good at blatantly asking for money and we know people also have their own charities they commit to, but PLEASE, if you haven’t sponsored us yet and feel you can spare even a few £s, we will greatly appreciate it-  every little helps.

Q. I’d like to donate but am not sure how to do this

AAll you need to do is to go to and put in Kairos11 or Helen and Simon Ward in the search bar (example below) and our Round Britain Sailing challenge page comes up. You then just fill in your details and identify how much you would like to donate. There is then an option to write a message, if you wish. It is also possible to donate by text. Alternatively (or as well) why not save your small change up and donate it in one of our NAS collecting tins when we return and we can bank it for you with other cash donations – just let us know if you would like to do this.

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Just Giving update 280717

Thank you for reading, thank you for supporting us and thank you too if you have shared our story.

Next time: Tobermory to the Caledonian Canal and more views of beautiful Scotland (even in the rain) plus our Scotland competition winner.

Kairos out… for now


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