A 'passionate' man from Tilehurst will be running the London Marathon to raise funds for an arts centre to be built.

Tomson Chauke has been working at Autism charity Prior’s Court for the past 10 years.

The charity supports young people with complex autism needs.

He is taking part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday, 2 April, supporting Prior’s Court’s performing arts centre fundraising appeal which will renovate an existing school theatre-style building into a state-of-the-art, bespoke arts centre.

Tomson, who works as an Autism Practitioner, is passionate about using music and the arts to support the young people he cares for.

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Tomson, who is originally from Zimbabwe, said: “I had no knowledge of autism when I started at Prior’s Court. It was when I started spending time with the young people that I started to understand and learn about myself around them.

"A young person who loved playing the piano made me start thinking of running some music workshops. This made me realise how much music played a vital role in their day-to-day learning.

“When it was decided we would renovate the theatre I was asked to also give my thoughts which made me feel even more inspired to support the drive. I am very much behind making music and arts accessible to all our young people which is why I am going to run this half marathon."

The Let Me Shine Performing Arts Centre will feature adapted facilities to support young people with complex autism to access opportunities in music, dance and drama and the life-enriching benefits these provide.

Individuals with autism face many barriers to accessing the arts – from light and noise sensitivities to understanding of social rules – and one aim of the centre is to mimic theatre environments to prepare young people to access arts venues in the community successfully.

This is in addition to having the opportunity day-to-day to express themselves creatively in a dedicated, bespoke space.

Prior’s Court, based in Hermitage near Newbury, provides education and residential care for young people with complex autism aged 5-25. provides its services to young people and their families from across the UK.

To donate, go to Tomson’s JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomson-chauke