About Anna KennedyFounder of the Anna Kennedy Online charity and shares her journey and experiences…
Dr Anna Kennedy OBE
Founder of the Anna Kennedy Online charity and shares her journey and experiences…
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Our UK Autism Charity Anna Kennedy Online is going from strength to strength supporting and sharing information to many families and adults affected by Autism. Ever since I started my own journey with my own boys Patrick and Angelo and wanting to help and support those who like them have a diagnosis of an Autism spectrum condition I am frustrated and disappointed with the lack of facilities and support across the UK.
Of course, Autism spectrum conditions does not just affect children and teenagers this is a lifelong condition for many people who can often face perplexing problems such as behaviour difficulties and many overlapping conditions such as Dyslexia, Obsessional Compulsive Disorder etc. The facilities are beginning to improve however, with Local Authorities and Charities being hit with cuts it is an ongoing battle.
Families and carers need respite breaks, access to better educational facilities and help with finding employment for their children – it is difficult enough for all young people looking for work these days so having a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition can makes it even harder, and sadly for many they simply give up trying because of a lack of response and understanding from employers.
I have seen, this directly through my own two sons who are on the spectrum, and through countless encounters and discussions with many young and older people just how much they have to offer. As I said in my book individuals like my sons are ‘Not Stupid’ just different, and often with enormous skills, intelligence and the ability to master many complex tasks and projects.
Therefore, it is so important that all of us who are involved with and affected by autism should continue to fight hard and make our voices heard in improving educational and other resources for individuals, their families and carers.
I also know that there is a huge demand for help, support and advice among the growing community of people whose children or loved ones are touched by autism.
Since we launched Anna Kennedy Online, we have seen visits to the site grow enormously as more people discover what we are about and can offer and contribute their experiences, tips and advice that can help others who are looking for help. I have been truly humbled by the number of emails and letters I receive from people telling me that they have at last found somewhere they can turn to for help and support. You can see my journey further below which includes some amazing experiences that I would love to share with you, I’m so fortunate to have a fantastic team.
My ‘A Team’ Lisa Robins, Tally Nothey and my husband Sean and our Charity Champions Mala Thapar, Beverley Guest, Jo Wiggins Annand, Keith and Dawn Avery who are dedicated supporters of Anna Kennedy Online. We are grateful for the support of our Patrons and Charity Ambassadors who help us spread the work of our Charity. Please click here to read an article – called an Interview with Anna Kennedy OBE.
Important news: Please help us register in place to help ease worries of carers where we have started a petition to social care minister Helen Whately. with the support of many including ITV who highlighted concerns of ‘Who will look after my autistic sons when I’m no longer around?’ Click here to read this.
As a small charity, we work hard provide workshops, training, legal advice and talks across the UK and well as an up to date website and daily apprises on social media. We work tirelessly on annual events such as our legendary showcase of ‘Autism’s Got Talent’ with the main event as well as the various roadshows; we have our successful annual events such as the AKO Autism Expo and the Autism Hero Awards, as well as local events and fundraisers.
We are delighted an official partnership with Includability – The Home of Inclusive Employers. We mirror Includability’s values of ensuring everyone receives an equal opportunity for any job.
Social Media e.g. Facebook and Twitter is such a valuable resource and I have created an autism virtual community of our 70k followers where we share up to date information, tips, advice and success stories where our children and adults have made progress however, small is HUGE to a family with a child on the spectrum.
Our campaigning work is also a big part of our work also targets issues such as autism diagnosis, our autism anti bullying of autistic children Campaign ‘Give us a Break! in schools.
Our culture campaign continues and we regularly monitoring the media and Parliament and speaking at events at the House of Commons to find ways of getting our views heard and hopefully putting pressure on those in power to make changes.
I am proud to be patron to DaisyChain, Autism Support Crawley, Kilmarnock Horse Rescue, Cheshire Autism Practical Support, Square Peg Foundation, and an ambassador for , Puzzle Centre, Autism Anglia Born Anxious and Includability. Also a committee member of LOANI, Ladies Of All Nations International Group.
We do have many expenses and running costs, so we are always seeking help through advertising, sponsorship or donations. If you are able to help in any way please click here and go to our donations page .
All the Best
Anna Kennedy OBE
Strong partnerships and projects with our Ambassadors
Katie Price and Harvey Price
Katie Price: All Things Autism Podcast
Harvey and me
Harvey Price is our Antibullying Ambassador and Anna Kennedy OBE contributed to this documentary which was aired on Monday 25 January at 8.30pm on BBC One.
This is now available on BBC iPlayer: Click here to watch!
Support of Give Us A Break
Anna Kennedy OBE – key honourable moments
Queen honours – Nov 2012
Anna was awarded an OBE (Royal Reward for Inspirational Mother) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for her services and campaigning work for autistic children.
Anna said “Obviously I am honoured and my love for my sons and husband has kept me going. I hope to use this award to springboard improvements and changes in the world of autism and I will accept the OBE on behalf of all families who are affected by autism.”
TedX – Breakthrough April 2016
I was invited as a guest speaker by TedX as their theme was ‘Breakthrough’ and this talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organised by a local community, please watch the video.
“Being diagnosed with autism isn’t the end but the beginning of an incredible journey. Anna Kennedy shares her 20 years of living with 2 sons with autism who have gone from coming to terms with it to succeeding and achieving in school and in life. Everyone with autism deserves a chance. Anna Kennedy OBE is mother to two autistic sons and dedicated to promoting the inclusion and equality of children and adults with an autism spectrum condition throughout society.”
Tesco’s Mum of the Year – 2013
Anna was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2012 for her services to special needs education and autism.
Anna says, ‘People with autism shouldn’t be hidden. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. I want all children, including my own boys, to have the chance to make a mark on the world just like everybody else.’
The Tesco judges said: ‘Anna’s single handed determination to help families living with autism, while also being a full-time carer to her two sons, is truly inspirational.’
Amnesty International video – March 2018
Anna Kennedy has been highlighted by Amnesty International as woman making an extraordinary difference and has won fresh recognition for her pioneering support for children with autism.
Anna was also featured on Amnesty’s Suffragette Spirit Map of Britain of woman who have gone above and beyond, which resulted in them being nominated.
BBC1’s: The People’s Strictly journey
Anna was chosen as one of six “inspirational but everyday heroes”, from more than 11,000 nominees, to take part in BBC One’s The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief in February 2015. Please watch the videos below to follow her journey through this incredible opportunity to share her life and also raising Autism Awareness to an audience of 11 million!
This was when Anna was surprised on stage to announce she was selected!
This was Part One of the interview on BBC’s The One Show
This was Part Two of the interview on BBC’s The One Show
Anna Kennedy and Robin Windsor: Part 1 – Episode 3
Anna Kennedy and Robin Windsor
Part 2 – Episode 3
Anna Kennedy and Robin Windsor
Part 3 – Episode 3
Anna Kennedy and Robin Windsor perform
Anna Kennedy and Robin Windsor perform
The group performance