An autistic Beccles man who overcame bullying to become a critically-acclaimed photographer is now looking to inspire others.

Alfie Bowen has teamed up with the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA) to deliver educational workshops to spread messages of love and acceptance to schoolchildren.

The 24-year-old will be taking part in the Wild World Schools Tour, which promotes acceptance of people's differences and individuality.

The tour began with eight visits to schools in the region in June and July and resumes this week, with more events to follow this autumn.

Mr Bowen, who is ZSEA's brand ambassador, said: "It has been an incredible experience meeting so many amazing, intelligent and kind children across the east of England, and sharing my experiences of photography, autism and wildlife with them.

“I will never forget the little faces that lit up when they realised I was autistic just like them, and that I achieved my dreams, which means they too can achieve their dreams.

“It has been one of the highlights of my career thus far, and I’m excited to be hitting the road again this month.”

Mr Bowen has received critical acclaim for his photography from wildlife experts Chris Packham and Sir David Attenborough, and is now working closely with Castle Fine Art and World Wildlife Fund.

He is joined on the tour by spokespeople from ZSEA, the charity behind Africa Alive in Kessingland and Banham Zoo.

The parks provided Mr Bowen with a safe space during his own personal challenges growing up, and allowed him to nurture a love for animals that led to his career as a wildlife photographer.

Claudia Roberts, CEO at ZSEA, said: “I had the honour of attending some of the summer tour dates to represent ZSEA, and it was such a rewarding and eye-opening experience.

"We set out to spread a message of understanding and acceptance for neurodiversity, but it became so much more than that.

“At the end of one session, an eight-year-old girl approached me and said: ‘I’m so glad you came to my school because now I know I can be a palaeontologist'.

"This tour is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of women in science and business, and to teach children that if they work hard, they too can achieve their dreams."