The boy in the box is out! And he’s raised more than £3,000 for charity.
Callum Mills, an 18-year-old Tesco worker, lived in a glass box at his firm’s Broadfields Aylesbury store for 50 hours to raise awareness and funds for the Cauldwell Children charity.
The David Blaine style stunt’s serious message is not lost on Callum. He says that the experience helped him to better understand the feelings of isolation suffered by those with autism, that the charity supports.
After coming out of the box at midday today Callum said: “ It’s incredible now to actually shake hands with people, it’s such a simple thing but in the box you can’t do that.
“It’s such a little thing that so many people do every day, but with the isolation you just can’t do it.
“Even small social interactions haven’t been possible.”
He added: “It’s great to be out of the box now, great to have my phone, I will be on that straight away without a doubt.
“It’s been a really fun experience and really eye opening and hopefully it will change a lot of people’s views on the illness.”
And when asked what the first thing he was going to do after 50 hours of incarceration, Callum said: “Probably order a pizza and then go on my phone!”
To keep busy the teenager took jigsaws and magazines into the box, but was banned from any kind of electronic equipment.
In a speech to a gathered crowd of well-wishers after he emerged from the challenge Callum said: “It’s really odd to have to try and amuse yourself and have nothing to do, but you eventually find ways.
“One of the most important things for me in there was communicating with people walking by, most of the people who are here now I’ve spoken to you as you’ve come in and out daily.
“It made my days to just speak to people. That was a super important part and it’s made my day to see everyone come out in such numbers.
And Callum could not hide his glee when Cauldwell Children’s Andy Bailey announced that the stunt had raised a whopping £3516.28 from donations in store and from people adding their pledges online.
He said: “Thanks to all the autism community locally for coming down and backing it too.
“Hasn’t he done great.”