A FAMILY from Preston Candover has raised more than £3,000 for two nursery groups which have supported their four-year-old son with autism.

As previously reported by the Gazette, Jade and Tom Grove decided to give something back to Candover Valley Preschool and Barn Tots Playgroup at Viables Community Centre, which both offered them invaluable support during their 18-month battle to secure the support needed for Barney, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and is currently non-verbal.

Their fundraising raffle event on Friday, July 16, saw between 30 and 40 people turnout, and an impressive 40+ prizes, donated by local businesses including the Wool Pack Inn, Purefoy Arms, Upper Farm Stalking Services, Milestones Museum, Smyths and many more.

In addition, Barney completed a 5k sponsored walk on Sunday, July 11.

The total money raised has exceeded £3,000 and will be split equally to create special funds to support other autistic children at each of the two groups.

Jade said: “Barney’s 5K walk and fundraiser went extremely well! We had a beautiful turn out at the raffle event and it created a real sense of community in these hard times and raised awareness of autism and Barney.

Talking about their plans for the future, Jade added: “We will continue to raise awareness for autism and SEN through our Instagram which is @jaydegrove15 by posting stories about how important routine is and day to day life.

“And we will be doing another event around Christmas time to add more for the funds we have created in honour of Barney.”

To continue donating to Barney’s fundraiser, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/barneys-big-walk