Anna Kennedy Online - Our Ambassadors
Meet our Ambassadors that are working with the charity to help us raise autism awareness and help us promote acceptance.
We are passionate to change the perceptions on Autism raising awareness and we cannot do this alone and that is why our Ambassadors are so important and we are lucky enough to have such extraordinary role models.
Find out more about our amazing campaign ambassadors who are helping us spread the word who are passionate about helping with our mission.
Our Ambassadors play a critical role in getting the message out there and detailed below explains why we are so proud to have these extraordinary individuals as part of the team:
Harvey Price is the eldest son of Katie Price. Harvey is partially blind and has Autism. He also has Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder that occurs in approximately one out of every 15,000 births.
Harvey has been playing the keyboard since the age of four and was inspired to audition after watching Autism’s Got Talent earlier this year at The Mermaid Theatre in London where he performed and at the roadshows in Cornwall and Ruislip.
Harvey has made numerous telly appearances, before becoming the subject of vile social media posts that he and his mum are now trying to make a criminal offence. Harvey deals with online bullying and trolling. He was subject to horrendous online abuse after sharing a drawing of his mum on the Gatwick Express on his Instagram page. Fans commented pleaded with Katie to remove the account to protect Harvey, but she chose not to and instead deleted the harmful comments.
On 22 January 2019, it was revealed that Parliament would back Katie’s ‘Harvey’s Law’ efforts. She started an online petition in March 2017 to criminalise social media trolling, after Harvey suffered at the hands of Instagram trolls.
Harvey has fully supported our “Give Us A Break” campaign and held up a poster as he said: ‘Please don’t be horrible to Harvey.’ And we are proud to announce Harvey Price as our Ambassador and welcome him to the Anna Kennedy Online family.
My name is Daniel Docherty and I have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am 19 years old and I live in the southeast of Ireland. I am the Ireland Ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online, an incredible Organisation that strives to improve the lives of those living with Autism.
My dream is to become a famous singer and Autism Awareness advocate. I study psychology in Waterford Institute of Technology and have completed my first year, passing all of my exams. I have a keen interest in story writing and poetry too. I was diagnosed with autism in March, 2014 at the age of fourteen and It was a moment of relief for me as I always knew deep down I was quite an eccentric individual compared to other people. One of my special interests is music, in particular singing.
I love singing as it has always been a way for me to deal with my anxiety and stress. It is also one of the ways in which I express myself and my favourite genres to do this are Opera, Classical, Musical Theatre and Swing. I hope to also one day make a real change in the world for the better and promote a society of acceptance and support.
Daniel said: “Becoming an Ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online in Ireland means the world to me. I was really surprised when I was asked to join the AKO team and jumped at the chance to be a part of this incredible organization. Having Autism has meant my journey to where I am now has been no easy ride, but it has taught me a lot about myself and has allowed me to relate to others on the spectrum as we see the world in different ways than neurotypical people. Being an ambassador now enables me to interact with more people on the spectrum and together this means we can change the world. We can transcend boundaries and unify people in order to create an accepting and supportive society for those with Neurodiversities such as Autism“
Aston Avery is a young man who has overcome a great deal in his young life. Aged 21, he was was diagnosed with autism at just two and a half. He also suffered from the bowel disease enterocolitis which leaves bowels and internal muscles not working and causes inflammation of the intestines.
From the age of four he spent most of his life undergoing a number of operations to fix the digestive disorder before having a full colostomy when he was eleven. On top of all of this was his autism, making communication with the world around him a challenge at best, impossible in many cases. Seven years ago he joined La Danse Fantastique Theatre School, based at Basildon’s Salvation Army hall in Cherrydown West. This turned out to be one of those life changing moments for this exceptional young man.
In time the discipline and hard work he put into his involvement with this charity began to improve his confidence and help him mix with his peers. This hard work and determination have been recognised by Anna Kennedy Online and Pineapple Performing Arts School where he has been awarded a scholarship for a second year running.
Terry Scott is the AKO official photographer who is a loyal and trustworthy gentleman, he captures every moment and makes these into memories. Without Terry, we could not showcase our success.
With a career in the spotlight which began in 2000, 33-year-old Danielle Lloyd has been a household name since she shot to fame after being crowned Miss England in 2004 and Miss Great Britain in 2006. In 2012, Danielle married her now ex-husband Jamie, and they had three beautiful sons, Archie, Harry and George. Being a mum is what Danielle is most proud of and nothing is more important to her than her amazing boys.
Danielle’s TV career has ranged from shows such as The Weakest Link, Total Wipeout and Who’s Doing The Dishes, all of which she won – to learning new skills in TV’s ‘Splash’ with Tom Daley in 2014. She regularly appears on the front cover of leading magazines like Fabulous, OK, Now, New, Closer and Reveal.
Danielle said: ‘I’m extremely proud to be an ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online; their outstanding work impressed me so much that doing charity work with them for people with autism is a real privilege. This is a cause that is close to my heart with my own children, and I’ve seen first hand how those with autism have been directly helped by Anna and the team’s work.’
Ethan Khumalo is seventeen years of age and an autistic dancer and lyricist that performs Grime/Rap music. His aim is to inspire other people that are autistic and also have mental health issues and wants to inspire the talent within them and they can use it; and to find confidence in themselves to showcase it. Ethan has been dancing for 11 years and then started rapping.
Anna Kennedy and Ethan first crossed paths in 2016 where he performed for the first time, at Autism’s Got Talent. Since then, more opportunities arouse. In 2017 he won a scholarship to train with Pineapple Performing Arts School.
Ethan said: “Fast forward to now, I am now an ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online. If you asked me how it feels to be an ambassador, l would say it feels humbling to be part of the AKO family. I never expected this honour and privilege. Thank you Anna for creating a platform for people like us, to showcase us talented individuals, to speak for the voiceless. Anna and the team are a role model to the SEND community, whatever she speaks on, needs to be heard left, right and centre, most people can relate, we just need more to hear us out, which is why we’re raising awareness, people are getting the message which is a good thing.
What I hope to bring to the AKO charity, is to raise further awareness and acceptance in the community and promote the charity as well. I will be doing more rapping and dancing and articles to articulate my thoughts on what happens in life (Black Lives Matter, mental health, autism of course, music, environmental events/incidents). To now be a part of the AKO is unexpected , but definitely worthwhile. l am proper happy that I am an AKO ambassador, I think this is one of my BEST moments; to DATE. Anna has shown me a endless amount of love and support in what I do ever since we met. Thank you Anna for this moment, it wouldn’t have been possible without you, and also for showing me support each and every single time.”
Paula McGowan grew up in Liverpool and is married to Tom McGowan who is a squadron leader in the Royal Air Force. She has three children.
Following the untimely death of her youngest child Oliver, Paula has dedicated her life to campaigning for better health care for people who have autism and learning disabilities. She is passionate that all doctors and nurses should receive mandatory training in autism and learning disability awareness.
Paula has recently moved to Australia with her husband but her campaigning continues to go from strength to strength. She attends health care conferences and has done several talks about what happened to Oliver. At the 2018 Autism Hero Awards, Paula received the Special Recognition Award.
Paul has released and published 5 books on the subject of autism published by Chipmunka publishing and has contributed to other books too. Having overcome many challenges to achieve the success that he now enjoys, Paul’s message is that Autism is a complex mix of ability and disability. He firmly believes that every Autistic person should have the opportunity to reach their potential and be regarded as a valued member of society.
Click here for more details about Paul.
Phillip Wills is an Autism Father from Truro, United Kingdom near Cornwall. Phillip Wills’ son Josh is 17 years old and has severe autism. Joshua Wills has autism so severe that he has harmed himself and needed to be institutionalized for his safety. However, there is no suitable facility close to Joshua’s family, so he had to be sent to Birmingham 260 miles away from his family (a 5 1/2 hour trip).
Phillip Wills is an Autism Light because he is advocating for the need for a treatment facility to be developed closer to Cornwall to help those with severe autism like his son Josh. Even though it would be constructed too late for Joshua to use, Phillip Wills hopes Josh’s story and his advocacy will make a difference in the lives of other autism families in the United Kingdom who may face similar challenges in the future.
Phillip Wills has created several autism awareness videos about his son Joshua that are all posted on his YouTube channel. Here is one of the videos that Phillip Wills developed about his son Josh’s journey in 2012.
Matty Street is the 23 year old CEO of TeamKarting.co.uk The UK’s highest rated indoor karting track based in Greater Manchester. In 2017 TeamKarting were nominated for an Autism Hero Award for being a leading business being inclusive and Autism Friendly.
Matty has a huge passion for motorsport and have competed from the age of 12. In school Matty was diagnosed with dyslexia / dyspraxia and Asperger’s and finding school very difficult Matty was considered a lost cause and stereotyped as a failure. His love for Motorsport helped deal with all these labels and negative expectations and achieve academic success and now success in business. Click here for details.
Matty said “Working with the AKO team as an Ambassador Matty along with TeamKarting will host a number of events promoting autism awareness”.
Anna Kennedy OBE and Lauren Lovejoy one of her Autism’s got Talent performers have spoken about Lauren’s experiences of being bullied in the past and how she was targeted for being different. Lauren wasn’t diagnosed on the spectrum until she was 14 years old.
Lauren shared: ‘Bullying in those days was not addressed as rigorously as it is now and I wish the teaching staff at my primary and secondary school had recognised that I had mental health issues and supported me accordingly. “Give us a break” charity anti bullying campaign this year, because it is a subject very close to my heart. I was a victim of being bullied and want to help prevent this from happening and to share positive messages out there so victims can know they are not alone and that things will get better.
I look forward to performing again in the near future at Autism’s Got Talent as I truly admire and respect Anna Kennedy for all she does and the opportunities she gives people like me.’
Thomas Henley is an online video and podcast creator, a Commonwealth Gold medalist in Taekwondo, a filmmaker, and a Biomedical Sciences honours graduate from the University Of Manchester.
Thomas was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at ten years old, and a number of severe mental health disorders at the age of fourteen.
He has dedicated his life to the goal of improving mental health support and social inclusion for autistic people, and seeks to achieve things that go against the grain of what society deems possible for autistic individuals.
Thomas seeks to find ways of communicating the autistic experience to a more mainstream audience.
Appealing to people with his honesty and insight on the Aspergers Growth YouTube channel, and the Thoughty Auti Podcast.
Aspergers In Society is a documentary about autism and mental health that’s achieved over 4,500 views in just over three weeks!
Thomas created this short-film in his final year of university and taught himself all the necessary skills to create it independently over the course of 300-400 hours.
Click here watch this powerful video.
Fuelled by his desire to enact change in society and provide a strong role model to autistic children, he is delighted to be apart of the Anna Kennedy Online family.
Siena Castellon is a 16 year old neurodiversity advocate and anti-bullying campaigner. She is autistic, dyslexic and dyspraxic. She also has ADHD. Siena is passionate about changing negative perceptions and stereotypes about autistic people and people with learning differences.
When Siena was 13 year old, she created a website – www.QLMentoring.com – to mentor and support autistic students and students with learning differences. She created the website, because she found that all the online resources were aimed at parents. There are currently 40 schools participating, which amounts to over 35,000 students across the United Kingdom. Siena is currently writing a survival guide for autistic teen girls, which will be published in 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishing. Siena has won numerous awards for her neurodiversity advocacy and website, including the 2018 BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Award and the Diana Award.
In 2018, she was also bestowed with a British Citizen Youth Award, received a Points of Light Award from Prime Minister Theresa May and met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a private reception in their home at Kensington Palace.
Macauley Elvin now 20 years old has experienced all of the above and turned to music to help him get through his ordeal. Macauley was one of the charities Autism’s got Talent performers where for the last 7 years’ children and adults from across the UK and overseas have showcased their talent on stage in Central London, North East, Essex and next year in Liverpool. Many performers of which were bullied and like Macauley turned to the performing arts to help them get through their ordeal.
Macauley’s singing has led to him and his family to meet lots of people and make new friends. He now enjoys performing and supporting charity events. Macauley has written a song with his mum called ‘Hollow and has been working alongside Anna Kennedy OBE a leading autism Campaigner ‘ to help her Autism Charity to raise further awareness ‘Give us a Break’ Anti Bullying campaign.
Our first overseas Ambassador from the US is Dani Bowman age 21. Dani founded her company, DaniMation Entertainment, at age 11. She has worked professionally in the animation industry since 14. Bow has premiered 6 award-wining animated short films at San Diego Comic-Con each year for the past 5 years. Dani utilizes her six passions of Autism Advocacy, Public Speaking, Animation, Illustration, Fine and Visual Arts, and Teaching Animation to show young adults on the spectrum and with other disabilities that anything is possible and inspire them to leverage their unique ability.
Since age 15, Dani has led summer animation camps around the country, initially with Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films, and then expanding out on her own to teach to over 700 teens and young adults. Dani not only teaches animation, but also works with her students as a role model and mentor, encouraging them to follow their dreams. Her contributions to the autism community have been widely acknowledged from receiving the Temple Grandin Award from Future Horizons in 2012 to being the first American with Autism honored at Anna Kennedy’s “Wear It for Autism” event in London in October 2014.