TWPA helps young autistic people to overcome their fears as they camp in the rain

For some, camping can seem like a daunting experience, but it can also be a lot of fun and help build confidence. That was the case for some British Turkish families from North London.

Over the bank holiday weekend, the Turkish Women’s Philanthropic Association (TWPA) organised a camping trip for a group of autistic teens and young adults, along with their mothers and siblings.

The group had been attending TWPA’s weekly autism music therapy sessions, but this was an altogether different experience for the young people concerned.

“Camping can be difficult for most of us, but more so for those with learning difficulties on the autistic spectrum,” explained TWPA Chair Seyyare Beyzade.

As is typical for a British bank holiday weekend, the weather was a mixed bag, but the young people seemed to take the rain, mud and challenging conditions in their stride.

“The first day was perfect, but at night the rain hammered down on us. Toilet runs at 2am in the rain were handled really well by the children,” stated Ms Beyzade.

The young people visited a nearby farm during their TWPA camping trip, May 2024. Photo via TWPA
Young autistic people and their siblings on the TWPA camping trip, May 2024. Photo via TWPA


“We were so proud of our group; camping was very much out of their comfort zone away from the stability and rigid schedules that they are used to.

“They faced many personal fears including darkness, mud, rain, no running hot water, no showers, no proper toilets and sleeping on the floor to name a few. We had a few wobbles but, all in all, they faced their fears and coped really well with the huge changes they encountered.

During the weekend, the young people learned to put up their own tents, do activities like archery, and go on a scavenger hunt. They visited a local farm and also cooked their own food.

Young autistic people & their families on the TWPA camping trip, May 2024. Photo via TWPA


“It really was amazing to watch,” said the TWPA Chair, who hopes to turn the weekend into “an annual event, funding permitting”.

“It clearly made a huge difference to them improving their wellbeing, their confidence and empowered them to know they are able to assess and take a few risks, to face their fears and succeed,” Ms Beyzade added.

The TWPA head also thanked Vatan Catering for donating the burgers that the group used for their evening barbeque.

Young boy doing archery during a TWPA camping trip, May 2024. Photo via TWPA