THE dad of an eight-year-old boy with autism took on a walk from Wigan to St Helens in the middle of Storm Dennis for a charity that helps others on the spectrum.

Lee Smith, from Haydock, used to self harm after being diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but has turned his life around by focusing on helping others.

In 2019, the 37-year-old was admitted to hospital because his mental health issues made him feel very low. But rather than let that time define him, Lee decided to help others to give himself a feeling of self worth.

After raising funds for Macmillan, the Steve Prescott Foundation and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Lee set himself a challenge to raise funds for Autism Initiatives.

On Saturday, February 15 he did the walk along with 100 others in fancy dress – and in the middle of Storm Dennis.

Lee said: “It went really well. We have raised £1,000 so far but sponsorship forms are still coming in so it will be more like £1,500 eventually.

“Given the weather being bad I am made up with the turn out and how many people came out to support us.

“Lots of people know someone with autism, so we had people from Wigan and Salford coming to get involved too and we all ended up in the Glass Horse in St Helens.

“It’s the best event I’ve done so far, and I’m already thinking what I can do next.

“I’m dead proud of myself because I know it will go to help this charity.”

  • If you are feeling at crisis point support is available at and by calling them on 116 123 24.