New Foundation Inspired by Personal Experience

Mar 23, 2011, 09:00 ET from GDS International

LONDON and NEW YORK and SYDNEY, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The GDS Foundation, a charitable fund for the autistic sector that was officially launched in the UK today, was inspired by very personal circumstances - Spencer Green, founder and Chairman of GDS International, a global events company, has a eight-year-old son who suffers from Asperger's, an autism spectrum disorder.

The GDS Foundation aims to raise GBP100,000 for charities working with autistic spectrum children and adults around the world by 30 June 2011 via a series of fundraising initiatives in GDS International's offices in Bristol and Cardiff (UK), New York, and Sydney.

Launching the GDS Foundation, Spencer Green said his son Finley inspired the company's 500 staff to develop "innovative and fun ways to raise money for this serious, lifelong and disabling condition."

"Autism is currently the fastest growing developmental disability globally, with a 10-17 percent annual growth. I've seen first-hand how important it is to provide assistance to those affected, particularly in the areas of routines, communication and learning. Without help, autism can have a profound - and sometimes devastating - effect on individuals."

Spencer Green, who helms GDS International, a leading business-to-business events company, said one of the key fund-raising events is a Cardiff staff member who plans to swim the English Channel - only three months after learning how to swim!

"In Sydney, staff will be hiking 100 kilometres, in New York they will be running 3.5 miles through fire and swamp, and Bristol staff plan to complete the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the UK's three highest mountains in 24 hours."

Spencer Green, who founded GDS International in October 1993, is also not immune: he plans to run the London Marathon in 3.45 hours.

Other activities include cake stalls, flash mobs, fancy dress days, a lottery and a fun dating game.

"I'm really proud of the way in which staff have united to raise GBP100,000 in three months. Whilst we are building a company with 40 percent growth, we are also keen on developing ourselves as people. And the best way is to unite our strengths for good."

The GBP100,000 raised will be split between the UK's National Autistic Society, Autism Speaks (in the US) and Autism Spectrum in Australia.

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SOURCE GDS International