Have a question? Below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
What is Autism Heroes 2023?
For Autism Awareness Month, we are asking you to walk, run, cycle, or swim for the month of April in support of children with autism and families across Ireland who need your help.
In becoming an Autism Hero, you will help us to open our Waiting List in 2023 and reach our goal of training 35 autism assistance dogs for 35 families awaiting our support.
Together, we can re-open the waiting list and offer more children and families the life transforming support of these autism assistance dogs.
Throughout the month of April, we want you to:
Make a donation and help end the wait by donating
Raise funds by registering to take part in one of three April challenges
Register at homepage
Where will the money donated go?
All the money raised from donations or from Autism Heroes 2023 will go towards ending the wait for 35 children with autism by training more dogs. It costs €22,000 to train one dog and that dog provides a lifeline to each child and the family they are placed with.
What's the ‘50 Miles in April’ challenge?
The ‘50 Miles in April’ challenge for Autism Assistance Dogs is asking our supporters to commit to walking (or running) 50 miles over the 30 days in the month of April. Each participant will commit to fundraising for us during this period to raise vitally needed funds to train our assistance dogs for children with autism. Each trained assistance dog provides a lifeline for these children and their families.
What's the ‘Cycle 400K in April’ challenge?
The ‘Cycle 400K in April’ challenge for Autism Assistance Dogs is asking our supporters to commit to cycling 400 kilometres over the 30 days in the month of April. Each participant will commit to fundraising for us during this period to raise vitally needed funds to train our assistance dogs for children with autism. Each trained assistance dog provides a lifeline for these children and their families.
What's the ‘14 Swims in April’ challenge?
The ‘14 Swims in April’ challenge for Autism Assistance Dogs is asking our supporters to commit to completing 14 swims or dips over the 30 days in the month of April. Each participant will commit to fundraising for us during this period to raise vitally needed funds to train our assistance dogs for children with autism. Each trained assistance dog provides a lifeline for these children and their families.
In the ‘14 Swims in April’ challenge, what counts as one swim?
We want you to have fun, taking on the challenge at a pace that suits you best.
When are these challenges taking place?
50 Miles in April, Cycle 400K in April, and 14 Swims in April takes place from the 1st April to the 30th April 2023.
As an individual, you register by going back to the event homepage here:
Autism Heroes 2023 Homepage
And clicking on the challenge of your choice.
I'm part of a team and want to register for one of the Autism Heroes Challenges. How do we register?
Great! Firstly, nominate a team captain and he/she can then register the team for all of you.
Once the team is registered, the team captain will receive an email with a URL to share with all remaining teammates. This URL is an invitation for everyone else to join the team by registering and setting up your individual fundraising page. All of these pages will be linked to the overall team page.
If you need more help, have a look at these short 5 minute videos from an AADI staff member where she talks you through how to set up a team and register in a previous challenge.
How to register a team. (Team Captain)
How to register as a team member/ Join a team.
How do I or my team raise money?
By setting up a fundraising page, and sharing it with your colleagues, friends and family they can donate directly to you. If you wish to raise money offline, that’s no problem, just email Eileen (firstname.lastname@example.org) from AADI and she will pop a card in the post to you.
Set up your fundraising page by registering at the event homepage
Is there a sponsorship card included in the fundraising pack?
Yes there is! You can use this card to ask for support in person from your friends, family and colleagues. If you’re worried about asking for sponsorship online you can always ask people to share your fundraising page (instead of asking them to donate) to help raise awareness for AADI. Please remember it is illegal to solicit members of the public, in a public space, or by going door-to-door for funds unless you have our permission AND a permit from An Garda Siochana. The sponsorship card is for use when collecting sponsorship funds from friends, family and colleagues, it does not give you permission to solicit members of the public for sponsorship.
What if I don't raise much money?
We have no minimum or maximum amount that we would like our participants to raise. From our point of view, no matter how much money you raise it will go towards changing the world for a child with autism.
How do I get my free t-shirt or swim cap?
Register with us and we will send out a t-shirt or swim cap with your fundraising pack. Included in the pack will also be a sponsorship card, paper tracker sheet, more information about the challenge and how to get started. You can register via the 'register' button at the top of this page or by joining the Facebook group and following the instructions in the announcement post.
Autism Heroes FB Group
What is in the fundraising pack?
- A T-shirt or swim cap depending on your challenge of choice
- A sponsorship card with fundraising tips and tracker sheet
- Paper Tracker for your progress
- Your unique reference number
When will I get my fundraising pack?
All fundraising packs will be sent out within 5-7 working days of our receipt of your registration form. Please allow up to 9 working days to receive it. If you haven’t received it by then, please contact Ivan, the Social Media Engagement & Fundraising Officer at email@example.com and we’ll follow it up for you.
My family wants to do the challenge with me. Can you send me extra shirts?
Fantastic! Why not register as a team? Select a team captain to register the team and get everyone else to register individually and join the team. Every team member will receive a t-shirt in their registration pack.
If you are requesting 3 or MORE t-shirts, please get in touch via email to Ivan, the Social Media Engagement & Fundraising Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to do the challenge with my child and they would love a T-shirt too. Is this possible?
Yes certainly, please sign them up by visiting the event page and we will get a t-shirt out to them. It’s easier for us to keep track that way. You will need a different email address for each registered child though.
Autism Heroes 2023 Homepage
I got my t-shirt but it’s too big/small. Can I change it for another size?
We try our best to fulfill everyone's requests but we may ask you to wait for registrations to finish before changing a t-shirt size.
We want to make sure that all the participants get a t-shirt as I am sure you can understand.
Please email email@example.com with your request, unique fundraising number and alternative t-shirt size and we will see what we can do.
What happens if I don't complete the challenge?
That’s no problem, we understand that life gets busy and things happen. You can just lodge whatever sponsorship you have raised with us at the end of the month or if you still want to complete the challenge, you can do this in the following weeks.
Can I start late/early?
Yes, certainly. Our social media pages will be active for the month of March & April, so if you start a bit late or early you can still stay up to date and get the support and encouragement you need to complete the challenge. Just remember to keep your supporters updated on your fundraising page and let them know how you are getting on. The majority of participants will be starting on 1st April but we understand that life can be busy and things happen, so feel free to start whenever suits you best
Do I have to complete 50 Miles in April/Cycle 400K in April/14 Swims in April at once?
No, the great thing about this challenge is that you can spread your goal throughout the month of April! If you need longer, that’s no problem, do it at a pace that suits you.
How do I keep track of how much I have walked/cycled?
The best way is to use your smart phone! If you have an iPhone or Samsung there will be a preinstalled ‘Health’ App that tracks your daily steps and distance walked. Other apps you can use are: Strava, Runkeeper, Map My Walk. We will send you a paper mile tracker too so you can tot up your daily miles!
Do I have to prove I have done the challenge?
Post pictures and updates on your fundraising page with your daily or weekly progress so we can see you’ve completed the challenge. It is also a great way to show your friends and family who have sponsored you that you’re committed!
Can I set a higher distance goal?
Of course. Setting a goal beyond the challenge's default goal and exceeding it would be fantastic! Many people will be exceeding their targets.
How do I get my raised funds to Autism Assistance Dogs?
If you have set up a fundraising page on our website or you've set up a Facebook fundraiser for us then you don’t need to do anything. Your donations will automatically be sent to Autism Assistance Dogs
If you have raised money via a sponsorship card then you can:
- Donate raised funds online via the event page on our website here or
- Lodge the funds directly to our bank account. See details below:
Reference: 'AH23’, unique fundraiser number, name
Bank Name: BOI, Eastgate, Little Island, Cork
Account Name: Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland
Account Number: 88834658
Sort Code: 90 97 08
I have another question not answered here?
No problem. If you would like to contact us directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org