Ben’s trek along the Great Wall for autism charity

Ben Kirimli
Ben Kirimli

A CIVIL servant trekked along the Great Wall of China to raise money for charity.

Ben Kirimli, 27, of Bexhill Road, St Leonards, spent seven days on the expedition, collecting more than £2,000 for Autism Sussex.

The charity is close to his heart as his younger brother Sam is autistic.

Ben, who works for the Child Support Agency (CSA) in Ashdown House in St Leonards, said: “I spent seven days trekking along the Great Wall of China, covering a distance of 120km (74.5 miles).

“The entire trip was the most amazing, breath-taking experience I have had. I managed to raise just over £2,100. It hopefully will come to more than £2,500 in the end with Gift Aid.

“I gave myself a nominal target of £1,500 to raise so it was a complete shock when I raised a lot more than that.

“I’m very happy with the amount collected, as every penny will go to the charity. I paid for the entire trip myself.”

Ben was part of a group of 26 people on the week-long trek, who booked it through Charity Challenge, an operator that organises more than 100 expeditions each year for those wanting to raise money for good causes.

He went on the trek from October 11 to October 20 last year and last week handed over the money to Autism Sussex.

The charity supports people whose levels of ability range from severe autism and learning difficulties to people with Asperger syndrome who are working.

It also has supported living accommodation for service users in both Gensing Road and Sedlescombe Road South in St Leonards.

Café des Arts in Robertson Street also provides people with autism with an opportunity to undertake work-based learning and to showcase and sell their art work.

There is also an Asperger syndrome support group that meets once a month.

Ben said: “The charity has given a lot of help to my 25-year-old brother, who suffers from Asperger syndrome.”

Sam attends photography courses run by Autism Sussex, at the Roebuck Centre in Hastings.

Xanthe Newman, from Autism Sussex, said: “The money Ben raised will go towards support services for families.Our thanks go to Ben for such an achievement.” Visit