Anna Kennedy Online - Charity ChampionsWe are fortunate to have a close group of Charity Champions who help us to raise Autism Awareness
Meet our Charity Champions who are working with us to help raise autism awareness
We are passionate to change the perceptions on Autism raising awareness, our Charity Champions work hard helping us spread the word who are passionate about helping with our mission. Our Charity Champions are valuable and dedicate time and commitment to raise funds and Autism awareness. Detailed below who are champions are and why we are so lucky to have these extraordinary individuals as part of the team.
After Jo’s son Ryan took part in Autism’s Got Talent in 2014, she quickly became very aware of how much AKO helped people and started helping out at various events and loved seeing the joy these experiences brought to people.
Jo Said “Anna asked if I would be a charity champion and I can honestly say I have never looked back! I did my first fundraiser with a local Christmas light charity and from there I have acquired new skills I never thought I had in me. Talking in schools and press calls, talking on radio, being involved in any PR for the charity, and so many other things! My greatest achievement within the charity was being responsible alongside Anna for the release of our first charity album. This was launched at London’s Hard Rock Cafe and the end result was amazing and one of the highs of my life. I do get lots of messages from people locally that know of my involvement with the charity and I love the fact that I am now able to help others with my knowledge. When you see me you will always see my son Ryan (patron of AKO) and my little girl Lucy (AKO’s mascot).”
Mala Thapar’s eldest son was two years old when he was diagnosed with Autism. When he started mainstream School, he was bullied and despite trying to get help, no one seemed to care. In 2011 Mala saw Anna Kennedy on London Tonight and watched Anna’s interview about the ‘Give Us a Break’ campaign, which tackled the issue of Autism and bullying in schools, Mala contacted Anna Kennedy Online , who immediately helped her family and started a new journey for her family.
Mala said “Since meeting Anna and am so honoured to be Charity Champion in Croydon, I have never looked back and AKO have changed my family’s life and would have been a very different outcome for all of us, I have made lifelong friends and love being part of so many great things the Charity does, from Autism’s Got Talent, The Autism Hero Awards, AKO Expo to empowering people and changing lives and effort and teamwork – the difference is that we care and that is what makes AKO special”.
Dawn Avery is the part of the first charity champion couples and covers the Essex region. Dawn first become involved with Anna Kennedy Online in May 2015 when her son Aston took part in Autism’s Got Talent. Dawn said “It was a time I would not change for anyone as he really embraced his Autism from the very moment we become involved. We were made to feel a welcome part of the team. We have held a number of Autistic & proud events for the charity including supporting the Essex, The AKO Celebrity football match and the AGT roadshow in Essex. We continue to come up with various ventures to support this amazing charity”
Dawn wrote From a tear to here – an Autism families journey,which tells the story of Dawn Avery’s, our Charity Champion and her family’s pathway, living with autism and ill health. It documents how it affected each of her family and not just her son Aston. It gives an insight into a journey that many would not understand. Dawn was so lucky to have the help Of Michael Barnard- Editor and The Michel Barnard charitable trust- the sponsor. All proceeds will go to Anna Kennedy Online!
Keith is the other part of the Essex charity champion couple. Keith and Dawn’s son Aston was offered to be an Ambassador for Anna Kennedy online, his Autistic & Proud fundraisers were then made for the charity.
Keith said “We had always fund raised for various charities but this one deserved us to go that extra mile. We are always looking for other ideas to raise funds but more importantly autism awareness in the Essex area”
Beverly is the Fulham Charity Champion. Learning her son was diagnosed with Autism at age two, sent her and her husband Mark on a journey to learn more, and that lead to discovering Anna Kennedy Online.
They attended the very first Autism’s Got Talent Show in 2012. Beverly said “I felt at home and that I had found the best support network out there. From there on, I attended every event I possibly could.
Beverly said “After being asked to join the Charity, I held a Charity bake sale at work, helped with the 2016 Flashmob in Spitalfields Market, Autism’s Got Talent shows, Zumbathons and more. Everyone has their own pocket of greatness and my aim is to help raise awareness, being passionate about our anti-bullying campaigns, and helping others to feel good about themselves, as everyone with Autism, and any condition, deserves that. I am so proud and humbled to become Fulham Charity Champion and part of the AKO Team”.
My Second son Christian was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3 years old. It was a long and lonely road as we struggled to be heard and to find services that would cater to the needs of our son.Christian is 17 years old now. We are now able to a point to access services as more people are becoming aware of Autism and the growing need to provide efficient and effective resources and services for those on the spectrum.
I recently started a campaign called Eat Shop Love Hillingdon where I began engaging with Anna Kennedy online. I know of Anna’s story and really admired her tenacity and resilience in attaining the best for her sons and then to the wider community. I was very happy when Anna offered me the opportunity to become Charity Champion for Uxbridge, as I have always wanted to help raise awareness about autism in some way.
I feel as a mum to my Christian, through me, he and many others on the spectrum can have a voice. A voice that would be heard loud and strong.