Woodford Green school’s visit from minister to recognise work on autism

A school in Woodford Green has been recognised for its work raising awareness of autism.

Bancroft’s School in High Road was visited by Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith on Friday, who presented certificates to pupils and staff in recognition of the support given to charity the UK Autism Foundation.

A joint effort by preparatory and senior schools pupils has seen more than �900 donated following a red, white and blue day to mark the Royal Wedding and a ten mile sponsored walk in Epping Forest.

The figure is expected to almost double when the money collected during the school’s charity event, which coincided with Mr Duncan Smith’s visit, is counted.

Pupils held a mini fete and ran a number of stalls including a lucky dip, candy floss and cake sales, chocolate fountain and a challenge course.

They also raised money by completing a sponsored run around the school field while dressed in pyjamas.

Older children were sponsored to learn a speech by Martin Luther King.

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Mr Duncan Smith said he was very impressed with the work that had been done to raise awareness of autism.

He said: “Pupils should be encouraged to get involved in charities, help raise funds and volunteer as early as possible.

“It is very important that we instil in children a sense of responsibility towards those who are less fortunate than themselves and that is what school charity days are all about.”

Youngsters chose to support the UK Autism Foundation following a presentation given by founder Ivan Corea in assembly earlier this year.

A school spokesman said pupils were enthused by the talk and liked how the charity helped families with respite care and also provided funds for equipment and other projects.

Mr Corea, whose 15-year-old son is autistic, also visited on Friday and he spoke of how well informed many of the children were of the developmental disability.

He said: “They knew so much about autism, it was unbelievable.

“It was lovely to see children of a young age doing things for the vulnerable and hopefully when they grow up they will continue doing so.”