April 6, 2018
Thomas & Friends holds a special meaning for children with autism and their families. Research conducted by NAS and HIT in 2007 found that 98.8 percent of parents of children with autism surveyed, reported that their children either liked Thomas & Friends or liked it very much, reports HIT. Over 60 percent reported that Thomas was the first fictional character their children liked or associated with.
"Thomas & Friends holds a very special place in the hearts of young children and their families," says Victoria Bushell, brand manager for Thomas & Friends at HIT Entertainment. "We are delighted to be working with NAS who continue amazing work in reaching out and supporting families of children with autism."
HIT first collaborated with NAS in 2001 after the company grantedthe image rights of Thomas & Friends to the charity. Since then NAS has worked closely with HIT on a number of different fundraising initiatives, including branded merchandise, cause-related marketing activities and community fundraising events.
Earlier in June, NAS launched its first national Train Walk, a series of Thomas & Friends-themed sponsored walks, which took place across the U.K., for supporters, parents, children and families, helping to raise funds and awareness for children with autism.
"The National Autistic Society's association with HIT Entertainment and the Thomas & Friends brand is a very special one and it remains one of our most successful partnerships," said Mark Lever, NAS chief executive officer, as HIT and NAS achieved the £1 million mark. "We are delighted that the support of Thomas & Friends continues to help us make a difference to the over half a million people affected by autism in the U.K. today."
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