RHS Gold Medal landscape architect’s 50 hour ‘Lock In’
A 44-year-old award winning landscape architect, from Kingston upon Thames, is looking to put his life on hold for 50 hours in order to raise awareness of autism, and the work that Caudwell Children does in supporting children with the condition.
Adam White, a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Gold Medal and a BBC People’s Choice award, is so determined to bring the disability to the attention of the general public that he’s agreed to raise the profile of the condition by spending 50 hours locked inside a glass box located in the foyer of the Tesco Extra store, West Cromwell Road, Kensington, W14 8PB.
Adam, who along with England’s most famous landscape architect, Capability Brown, was made one of only 88 Fellows of the Royal Chartered Landscape Institute, will enter the box at 6:00pm on Monday 20th March, 2017. If he succeeds in his challenge he will leave the box at 8:00pm on Wednesday 22nd March, 2017.
Adam, a Director at Kingston upon Thames based landscape architects Davies White Ltd, says he knew little about the condition until the company was commissioned by the charity to create a sensory garden for the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show and their new HQ in Staffordshire.
As Adam explained: “Caudwell Children provide practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families and the charity has helped over 20,000 children, many of whom have autism.
“During the design process we ran workshops with autistic children to ensure that the garden would meet their sensory needs. This was a real watershed moment in our understanding of the condition and how vast the autistic spectrum is.
“Our research also helped us to appreciate how prevalent the condition is. With over 133,500 children currently diagnosed with autism in the UK it’s difficult to understand why it struggles to make the headlines.”
Adam, originally from Warrington, in Cheshire, says that he will occupy a lot of his time in the box by keeping fit on an indoor bike. “My great grandad established White’s Sports Shop in 1901, the family business, recognised by the Guinness World Records as the oldest sports shop in the world,” he explained. “I think that gave me the bug for cycling, swimming and rowing and it’s continued ever since.
“As we’re going to be creating the Zoflora & Caudwell Children Wild Garden at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, from the 4th-9th July, I’ll also be taking my model making kit in with me. So when I’m not cycling I’ll be making a scale model of the garden in the box.”
Adam says he’s confident that he will complete the challenge. He said: “I have a lot of energy and only need five or six hours of sleep a night, so the fact it’s a 24 hour store doesn’t worry me.
“I love a challenge and whilst some people may be anxious, or even scared ahead of being incarcerated for 50 hours, I live by the words of 1980’s pop singer Snitta, ‘on the other side of fear is something beautiful’. I think it will be an amazing experience.”
Andy Bailey, from Caudwell Children, who created the ‘Locked in for Autism’ challenge, is delighted to have Adam’s support. As he explained: “Adam’s selfless 50 hour lock in will give me the opportunity to explain to shoppers how the charity helps children with autism by providing specialist equipment and family support.
“Whilst 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. Adam’s time in the box will really put the charity on the map in Kensington and across London.”
Adam does admit that he will miss a number of things whilst in the box. As he concluded: “I’ll miss my girlfriend Sarah and our cat Milly the most, although I’m sure they’ll both enjoy the peace and quiet at home as I’m a bit of a chatter box.
“I’ll also miss my King-size bed and having a long, hot, shower in the morning. Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever spent 50 hours without a shower before.
“I’m also a huge Warrington Wolves Rugby League fan so I’ll miss the Super League Show on the BBC on Monday evening. I’ll have to catch up on the iPlayer once I’m released.”
Adam also hopes to raise funds for Caudwell Children whilst in the box. You can support him through his Just Giving page here.
You can also make a text donation by texting: LIFA73 then the £amount to 70070