Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins is supporting a nationwide initiative raising awareness of issues affecting school-children with autism.

The Anderson Schools Challenge, jointly organised by the National Autistic Society (NAS) and the Anderson Foundation, invites schools to complete 50 fun and easy tasks – ranging from fitting 50 items into a sweets tube to holding a special assembly.

Money raised from the venture, being staged to celebrate the 50th birthday of the society, will help the organisation’s work providing services and support to people affected by autism.

Mr Hopkins said: “I’m delighted to be backing the Anderson Schools Challenge and I hope local primary schools will do their bit.

“School can be a real struggle for many children with the condition, but better understanding among teachers, school staff and other pupils can make a real difference.

“This is a great way to improve awareness of autism and raise vital funds for the NAS, so that it can continue to support individuals and families across the UK.”

Mark Lever, chief executive of the society, said: “We’re thrilled that Kris is championing this important challenge and encouraging as many schools as possible to take part.

“Autism is more common than most people think – around one in 100 people have the condition and it touches the lives of more than 500,000 families in the UK.

“Raising awareness and providing vital support can make a world of difference to people with autism and their families.”

To sign up to the Anderson Schools Challenge, visit challenge.