FAMILIES stepped out in support of the National Autistic Society.

Volunteers from the Cheshire West and Chester branch welcomed dozens of families to Delamere Forest on Saturday to take part in a Train Walk to raise funds and awareness.

The annual event was based on the Thomas & Friends books and characters.

Rachel Niestroj, a volunteer for the Cheshire West and Chester branch of the National Autistic Society, said: “We were thrilled that despite horrendous weather conditions a group of hardy families ventured out and completed the Train Walk.”

Funds raised from Saturday are still being counted but it will be used to run local events such as awareness raising and training days for parents and professionals.

Rachel added: “Autism is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition, but when a person is given the right support at the right time this can make an enormous difference to their outcomes in life.”

The Cheshire West and Chester group is also holding its AGM on Tuesday at 7pm in Ellesmere Port Civic Hall.

The guest speaker will be Ros Blackburn.She was diagnosed at the age of one as severely autistic but with average intellectual ability. As an adult, she is a highly respected international speaker on autism.

The free event will be repeated on June 29 at 10am.

For more details leave a message on the information line 01244 315651 or email cheshirewest@nas.org.uk.