Disabled youngsters star alongside Justin Fletcher in Makaton re-telling of Julia Donaldson's The Snail and the Whale for World Book Day

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More than 30 families with disabled children have re-told children’s author Julia Donaldson’s treasured story The Snail and the Whale in Makaton for World Book Day.

Children’s television favourites Justin Fletcher and Dave Benson Phillips also join the families in the film, which has been created by York-based charity Family Fund.

The charity, which supports families raising disabled or seriously ill children, wanted to produce something that was “accessible and fully enjoyable for all” to mark the world-wide celebration of reading.

To create the video, Family Fund teamed up with charities The Makaton Charity, Wouldn’t Change a Thing, and Singing Hands.

The Snail on the Whale, by the former children’s laureate and creator of other much loved stories The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Room on the Broom, is the charming tale of an adventurous snail with “itchy feet” who hitches a ride on the tail of a whale on a trip around the world.

Family Fund is the UK’s largest grant-making charity for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and provided 88,407 grants and services worth over £33 million to families across the country last year.

Chief executive, Cheryl Ward said: “Family Fund is here to make a practical difference to the lives of disabled children so we’re celebrating World Book Day with something that’s accessible and fully enjoyable for all.

“Raising a disabled or seriously ill child can often mean that families need extra support. This is why we provide grants for families on low incomes for items or experiences which will help improve everyday life for them and their child, whether that’s a new bed, sensory equipment or short break.”