Hit Entertainment's Thomas & Friends property has helped to raise over £1 million for the National Autistic Society since 2001, the firm has revealed.
One of the charity's most sucessful corporate partnerships, NAS has now extended the partnership for a further three years.
Research conducted by NAS and Hit in 2007 found that 98.8 per cent of parents of children with autism surveyed, reported that their children either liked Thomas & Friends or liked it very much. Over 60 per cent said that Thomas was the first fictional character their child liked or associated with.
Hit first collaborated with NAS in 2001, granting the image rights of Thomas & Friends to the charity. Since then, the two companies have worked together on a number of fundraising initiatives including branded merchandise, cause-related marketing activities and community events.
"Thomas & Friends holds a very special place in the hearts of young children and their families," said Victoria Bushell, brand manager at Hit. "We are delighted to be working with the NAS who continue amazing work in reaching out and supporting families of children with autism."
Recent activity includes the first ever national Train Walk, a series of Thomas & Friends themed sponsored walks taking place across the country.