Energetic pre-schoolers from across Reading and Wokingham are set to take on a 'Watch Me Fly' challenge within their regular Diddi Dance classes later this month.

The event, which will see the youngsters dress up as their favourite flying animal or character and perform a specially choreographed dance, is part of the national Children’s Activities Week (CAW) campaign to improve support for children with autism.

More than 250 children from the local area will join an estimated 120,000 other youngsters across the country to raise awareness and money to provide support for autistic children through the charity Caudwell Children.

Owner of diddi dance Reading and Wokingham, Andrea Bickford, said: "We're very proud to be a part of Children's Activities Week in May - all of our little students have had lots of fun practicing for our special 'Watch Me Fly' dance and are very excited at the prospect of dressing up to perform their funky new moves!

"At Diddi Dance, we're passionate about getting little ones physically active and giving them the best start in life and by taking part in Children's Activities Week we're taking that beyond our classes and helping other children as well."

Children’s Activities Week takes place from May 13 – 17, and culminates in a showcase event at the charity's headquarters in Staffordshire, where there will be a celebration of the many different professional and educational activities being delivered every day across the country.

Also supporting the campaign are TV stars Dick and Dom, who will be joining in the fun at the showcase event.

They said: "We can’t wait to join in with lots of the amazing kids’ clubs and classes.

"We are honoured to be a part of such a wonderful celebration and a worthwhile cause.

"We encourage as many kids, parents and children's activities leaders as possible to get involved too."

Autism directly affects more than 2.5million people in the UK every day, and it is proven that early detection and intervention is the most effective way of managing behaviour relating to autism.

Across the UK, however, families can regularly wait years to receive an autism assessment for their child and, once diagnosed, often have to fight for any kind of support.

The money raised from the sponsored challenge will fund assessments and practical support for autistic children at the new Caudwell International Children's Centre - the UK's first independent purpose-built centre dedicated to autism.

Children's Activities Week is a partnership between the Children's Activities Association, a not-for-profit membership organisation and national charity, Caudwell Children.

Morton Michel, the leading childcare insurance specialists, are headline sponsors for the annual fundraising and awareness event.

Trudi Beswick, chief executive of Caudwell Children, said: "It is truly an honour to have groups of children like these all coming together to help raise funds for the charity.

"We are dedicated to enabling autistic children to reach their full potential and Children's Activities Week is playing a big part in us achieving our aim.

"Together, we are changing lives."

For more information about Diddi Dance, visit www.diddidance.com or email andrea.bickford@diddidance.com and for more information about Children's Activities Week or Caudwell Children visit www.caudwellchildren.com/caw2019.