After a year of partnering with chosen charity Autism Berkshire, Reading Buses yesterday (Friday, January 4) revealed the total amount raised throughout 2018.

Through fundraising events and personal challenges taken on by members of staff, an incredible £11, 719.61 has been collected for the charity, which supports people of all ages with autism, as well as their families.

The figure was unveiled by both members of the company as well as representatives from Autism Berkshire, who were presented with the generous cheque.

Robert Williams, chief executive at Reading Buses, said: "It's a fantastic effort that goes in every year to our chosen charity."

Speaking about the advertisement placed on the buses, which reads 'supporting families living with autism', he added: "It's a bus that we use in all routes, so this bus has run across the whole network for the year to advertise the charity.

"That extends to our website and social media - we have a large number of followers, so the charity benefits from the association with Reading Buses.

"We held a Night with the Stars event - we have a star of the month we select from our members of staff, and within the awards night we told more people about our charity of the year.

"We also had cake sales and one of our drivers, Darcy, did a skydive in July which raised £1,200.

"Each year we have an annual open day with the mayor, and our charity of the year take centre stage at that event. It's our main fundraising activity of the year, and we raised more than £1,900."

Jane Stanford-Beale, of Autism Berkshire, said: "First of all, we would like to thank Reading Buses for choosing Autism Berkshire. It has been an amazing year and we have raised a lot of money.

"We kicked the year off with James, who was chosen to be photographed on the side of the bus and I will never forget his face and how excited he was.

"The open day will be remembered as an absolutely amazing day. We were also delighted when we were asked to provide some disability training.

"It was a pleasure to work with Reading Buses."