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. 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.
Find out more about our amazing campaign ambassadors who are helping us spread the word who are passionate about helping with our mission:
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. 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.
Matty Street is the 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”.
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.
Tess and Kratu
Tess shared: Kratu and I are delighted to be Ambassadors for Anna Kennedy Online and we hope to bring awareness for autism and assistance dogs. To help the autistic community understand what is involved with the training, the options of how to train as an owner trainer like myself, or charities who can help with a dog who is trained by them.
Mental Health and Autism is something personal to me and something that needs to be understood. You can be autistic and have mental health issues too. This is an area of great interest to me because of all I have experienced. Change is needed.
Anna has been an inspirational influence in our lives since we first met her online. Getting to know her, performing at Autisms got Talent, being able to be heard, radio interviews, articles written, sharing that with others meant so much. She gave us the chance to have a voice, be seen, be validated and accepted.
To be Ambassadors for her charity is very special to us indeed. It is an honour. Thank you. Tess and Kratu.
Ethan Khumalo is 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 shared: “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.”
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.
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.
Phillip Wills is an Autism Father from Truro, United Kingdom near Cornwall. Phillip Wills’ son Josh who 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.
‘I met the wonderful Anna and team back in 2016 whilst we were working on our superb charity album “Building Bridges”, which was a significant and memorable time in my life. Since then, I have continued to support and work with the charity.
Anna and all the team have played a huge part in shaping the person I have become today, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me through Anna Kennedy Online, and their amazing work and I feel so proud to be a part of the AKO family. I am aware of the progress and huge difference that I have made.
Ben Pearson, founder of BigClothing4U and Uptheir, is a serial entrepreneur with a difference. Diagnosed with autism, Ben has used his platform to create inclusive clothing that strives for change – from clothing in sizes 2XL-8XL, to his Harvey’s Law Collection in collaboration with other Anna Kennedy Online ambassadors, Katie and Harvey Price.
After growing up in the care system and battling homelessness at just 17, Ben has faced more challenges than most. To share his story and inspire others, Ben has been a frequent guest on Anna’s radio show, All Things Autism in Essex, and on her podcast.
Upon being a selected ambassador for the charity, Ben said, “It’s a great honour and privilege to be a chosen ambassador for such a disruptive and innovative charity. As someone with autism, I’ve often been misunderstood. I often wish that I had someone like Anna and her incredible charity growing up to help champion change”.
He added, “I’m excited to use my platform to help others with autism and create change. Watch this space!”.
Giuliana Wheater BA Hons, MCMA, CMT is a multi-award-winning specialist therapist, author, advocate, and public speaker. She is the founder of Therapies for Special Needs, Rainbow Kids Touch Therapy and Rainbow Kids Touch Therapy magazine.
Giuliana’s work has been recognised by the Children’s University as a Learning Destination and as a Centre of Excellence by the CMA.
Her work and personal journey with her autistic son has been featured in the national press, the BBC, Autism Eye, Autism Parenting, International Therapist amongst many other publications both regional and National. She is a member of the panel for the U.K. Indian Head Massage Community.
Giuliana is thrilled to be a well-being ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online click here to find details. Her regular articles on well-being are phenomenal and part of our Take 5 Campaign – click here for more information.
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.’
Siena Castellon is a neurodiversity advocate and anti-bullying campaigner. She is autistic, dyslexic and has dyspraxia. 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.
Thomas Henley is an online video and podcast creator, a Commonwealth Gold medallist 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.