Alison is thinking inside the box for autism

A supermarket worker has been thinking inside the box in a bid to help children and young people with autism.

Alison Booth (49) stepped inside a glass box at her workplace in Tesco Burnley at noon on Thursday – and will not emerge until 2pm on Saturday, some 50 hours later.

Her patient effort is helping to raise funds and awareness for national charity Caudwell Children.

Alison Booth

Alison Booth

Alison, who works as an admin assistant at the store, said: “All my family and colleagues thought I was crazy, but it's for a good cause.

“My daughter Kelly also works at Tesco so she kindly brought me some sweets. I am allowed five minutes out of the box every two hours for toilet breaks, but I expect it will still be quite a tough challenge.”

Alison, originally from London, is no stranger to unusual fund-raisers – she once abseiled down Guy’s Hospital for charity.

The idea of staying in the box symbolically recreates the experience of autism for sufferers, according to Andy Bailey from the Caudwell charity.

He said: “While I appreciate that every child’s condition is different, many parents of autistic children have told me that the box is a perfect metaphor for the condition.

“Feeling conspicuous, being viewed from every angle with no place to hide, and struggling to communicate with those outside the box are things that many parents relate to.

“Alison’s time in the box will really put the charity on the map in Burnley and the surrounding area.”

Every Tuesday the Burnley Tesco store operates a “quiet time” policy for people with autism between 8am and 10pm.

Autism is one of the country’s most prevalent disabilities with 133,500 children currently diagnosed with the condition in the UK.

You can support Alison through her page www.justgiving.com/alisonlockedin