Autistic, Unfiltered

The Real Autistic Women Project

Mentoring the next generation of autistic lived experience leadership in sports and physical activity.

R.A.W Project

Inspired by the personal experiences of Shantelle Svarc, founding Director of Darkside Rising CIC, the R.A.W (Real Autistic Women) Project will:

  • Deliver semi-private strength training and mindfulness activities to 24 autistic women for a period of 1 year.
  • Encourage and facilitate formal qualifications in personal training for 2 of these, and informal work experience for others. 
  • Create employment opportunities for the beneficiaries and foster a whole new generation of autistic female sports and physical activity leaders and participants.

Funded by the National Lottery Leaders with Lived Experience Fund.

It has really increased my confidence and has given me opportunities that I would not have had. Regular gyms are uncomfortable, and the project has allowed me to experience a healthy gym experience.



Taking inspiration from successful campaigns such as ‘This Girl Can’, Unfiltered will embody the personal experiences and progress of the women on the project.

Providing a platform to inspire autistic women around the country to take part in physical activity.

It will comprise photos, videos and prose that elucidate the mental and physical health benefits of exercise and show the personal journeys that each of these women have travelled. 

Creating new opportunities for autistic women to participate, educate and evolve the provision of sports and physical activity in local and wider communities. 

At the heart of the R.A.W Project lies the strength and leadership of autistic women, working in solidarity and collective action to promote the physical, psychological and social benefits of strength training and physical activity.

You will be coached by…

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