A DEDICATED mum has spent her whole day dressed up in a Pudsey costume to support a worthy cause.

Tonia Barnett, 44, of Harwich, put on her yellow onesie to raise money for Children in Need, while visiting Holland, Clacton, Frinton, Thorpe-le-Soken and Harwich.

As a mum of two autistic children, Tonia has always felt the campaign very close to her heart, so she was more than happy to raise £70 while going out and about in her yellow onesie (and with her three dogs).

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Tonia and her three poochesTonia and her three pooches

Her son, Bobby Barnett, 11, is severely autistic with developmental delays and one of her greatest drives to put on the Pudsey costume.

Tonia said: "When your child is first diagnosed there is a feeling of grief but also massive guilt for feeling sad because you are so grateful for the child that you have had.

"It is a complex mix of emotions when you get that diagnosis.

"We try to live in the moment and focus on all that is positive and take the good in every moment really.

"I choose to be happy and I celebrate Bobby's achievements even if they don’t seem like ones to other people.

"All of his milestones bring us joy and we celebrate them ."

To support children like her son, the dedicated mum was all dressed up even when she dropped him off at Shorefields School in Clacton.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Tonia dropping off Bobby at school in her costumeTonia dropping off Bobby at school in her costume

Her friends also supported her, saying how brave she was to walk around in public in a yellow costume.

Tonia added: "Everywhere I went I felt like I put a smile on people's faces and more importantly reminded them it was the day to raise money for children in need.

"Even if people didn’t donate directly to me, I was hoping me going around all day reminded them to donate elsewhere later."

Tonia is already looking ahead to next year when she is planning on putting on the Pudsey costume once again.

But what she is looking forward to the most is for people to be more understanding towards children with disabilities.

She said: "Autism affects every aspect of Bobby's life. It affects his days out when we get people staring at him or laughing.

"It would be so good if there was more awareness around disabilities but particularly around autism.

"I am happy that there are a lot of good and nice people out there who make up for it."

Tonia and her partner Ray Pemberton, will be hosting a Christmas cabaret for for Autism Anglia inside the Holland Public Hall on December 4.

Tickets cost £7 per person and can be purchased by contacting Tonia Barnett on her Facebook page.