Shoreham photographer runs 41 miles to raise money for a sensory garden for his disabled son

A Shoreham dad has run 41 miles over the South Downs to raise money for a garden for his profoundly disabled son, who is unable to access the countryside.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 2:47 pm

Robb Banks, a photographer known on social media as wolfsnapper, has had huge support from friends and family and has so far raised more than £6,200 to build a special space for Rufus

Friends Darren Snell and Mike Newman joined Robb for the run from the bottom of Truleigh Hill to Eastbourne Pier on May 15, and another friend, Andrew Sedgwick, ran a lone marathon along the River Ouse in Cambridge at the same time.

Jo Banks, Robb’s wife and Rufus’ mum, said: “The intrepid trio train on the Downs whenever they can, and when regulations have allowed, and they love it up there. They run and they talk, Robb takes photographs and our family and assistance dog Bowie often accompanies them.

Robb Banks with friends Darren Snell and Mike Newman

“Robb finds this a great help for his mental health and it relieves some of the pressures and demands from a role of which he is extremely proud, father and carer.”

Jo is hoping the garden they have in mind will help other children like Rufus.

She explained: “As a family, we are raising funds for a sensory garden for our beautiful son, who is profoundly disabled and autistic.

“Rufus finds walking very difficult and misses out on being able to access much of the Downs and surrounding countryside. So, we would love to create a garden space at home for Rufus that is secure, safe, therapeutic and just as beautiful.

“Many children like Rufus still struggle to access community spaces, despite inclusive efforts, and many parents also find it difficult to discover suitable places to take their special children. So, we would hope that his few friends from his special educational school will also be able to enjoy this space.”

Run for Rufus followed the Riding for Rufus effort in 2013, which raised funds for a Hase Pino specialist tandem recumbent bike and was supported by Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club, Adur East Lions and Shoreham Port.

For both fundraising campaigns, the family has worked in collaboration with the Tony Barnard Foundation, which helps children and adults who have suffered brain trauma or are born with genetic disabilities leading to learning disabilities.

Visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RobbBanks1 to support the family. The fundraising page will be open until August.