A FORMER Malpas primary school pupil has published a new book to promote autism awareness after being awarded a £200 grant.

Will Hawkes, a former pupil at Malpas Alport Primary School, received the grant from the Richard Alport’s School Foundation last year.

After several months of hard work the 16-year-old illustrator is now preparing to launch his new book "Hal and the End Street", written with Liverpool-based children's author Jude Lennon, at an event on March 27 to coincide with World Autism Awareness Week (March 26 to April 2).

The book fulfils one of Will’s life-long dreams and it’s hoped he and Jude will go onto publish a series of Hal’s Books.

Set in the 1970s the story follows the adventures of 13-year-old Hal, who has autism, and the difficulties he faces on a day-to-day basis.

Having being diagnosed himself with autism at the age of six, Will grew up learning to read and write with books he says, he struggled to ‘relate’ to.

"There were no books with heroes or lead characters that were like me," said Will, who started putting his ideas into practice last year.

"This made it really difficult for me to relate and identify with characters in books. For a long time I’ve wanted to address this issue and publish my own book which will help other children with autism feel more included.

"The grant from the Richard Alport’s School Foundation has meant I can turn this idea into a reality and I’m very grateful for the support the foundation has shown for this project."

Will’s mum, Jane Hawkes, is the founder of the Awesome About Autism campaign and the book will be launched at Concept Corner, in New Brighton, Wirral, on March 27.

Visit www.halsbooks.co.uk for more details.