Schools throughout Wirral are being invited to encourage their pupils to be sponsored to ‘Stay Awake All Night’ to raise funds for the Wirral Autistic Society.

Friday June 20 has been suggested for the challenge. It is just four days before the shortest night of the year and will allow children time to catch up on their sleep over the weekend but schools can select and date they wish.

The idea came about after pupils at Whitby High School stayed awake all night and raised £1,163 for the society with the same sum go to a local cancer research charity.

Michaela Kilbride, a drama teacher at the school has been running the charity event for 11 years with activities being organised through the night to help children keep their eyes open. Pupils at the school will be staying awake again from 8pm on May 16 until 8am the next day and half the money raised will once more go to the Wirral Autistic Society.

Miss Kilbride, who has a nephew who was diagnosed with autism two years ago, said: “The dedication from students and staff has been wonderful and I am very proud of them.”

The Society’s £1m Lifetime Appeal has just broken through its half way mark. The money raised will fund specialist living accommodation for adults with autism – the first project of its kind in the north west.

The Society’s Chief Executive, Robin Bush, said: “Individuals with autism often suffer with disturbed sleep so this fund-raising initiative is especially relevant. I would like to say a huge thank you to all those taking part and wish them the very best of luck.”

Rick Myers, the society’s fund-raiser, said: “We decided to launch this project in April as it is World Autism Awareness Month. The pupils at Whitby High had great fun staying awake all night and it is a really unusual fun way of raising money.”

Further details of the project are available from Rick on 07887 631218.