Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Anna’s guest this week at Women’s Radio – Nicola Carey-Shine

Anna’s guest this week at Women’s Radio – Nicola Carey-Shine

Anna’s guest this week on ‘All things Autism’ at Women’s Radio was Nicola Carey-Shine

Anna Kennedy’s guest this week on Women’s Radio Station was Nicola Carey-Shine.
‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week.  Please see www.womensradiostation.com

Nicola shared:

After a decade as a mainstream teacher (and middle manager) in an extremely large comprehensive school, with highly challenging pupils (many of whom had undiagnosed SEN), people used to say to me: ‘Why would you want to put yourself through that?’ Or ‘I don’t envy you!’ The truth was, I loved it.

The bonds I made resonated at a deep-down level, knowing the child who had arrived so angry, anxious and misunderstood now had their own toolkit to achieve better life chances.

So, why did I leave my safe job of over a decade?…..Because of how I saw the Government rip apart the safety net for those with Special Educational needs. Schools became populated with ‘Business managers’ who wanted to tick boxes, but didn’t have the time to sit down, look their pupils in the eye, and really hear what they needed to thrive.

Whilst on maternity leave of my first child, I decided to be the change I was so desperate for. With my new born son in his sling, we walked the streets of our local towns together, knocking on doors and explaining my new venture: a specialist provision for those who needed it most.

After teaching myself how to build a website in between nursing my son, managing my first budget, and creating my own workshops, praise spread, and my pupil cohort grew from 1 to 30 in 3 months.

Within its first year, and every year since, the Learn to Shine school has won regional and National awards, a testament to the hard work, love and dedication that goes into education accessible to all.

Since inception, I have endeavoured to create pathways that most benefit pupils who have been forgotten about or let down by, mainstream education. Families continue to have their access to the correct support obstructed.

As an adult my own ADHD was confirmed, but as a surprise to me, it was one of the most chronic scores. By undertaking a Masters in Psychology, specialist training in Child Speech and language therapy, and Occupational therapy I have been reminded just how difficult and frustrating being in a classroom can be….but it’s been worth it.

I have been able to give parents access to Educational Healthcare plans, and act as their advocate with local authorities to protect their child’s rights. Workshops are designed to help young people obtain skills missing from their development, but always following the principle that learning is best absorbed when it is multi-sensory and fun.

Adult carers and parents can also attend Art therapy groups to create respite and joy in challenging times. All of this has been adapted around Covid in weird and wonderful ways!

At the moment, I manage all of this (along with my own two very small children) by myself. Since creation, I have had a waiting list and have had to turn children away. This truly breaks my heart…but at the beginning of the year we found the perfect land to expand our acorn into a much bigger source of support, allowing for more bespoke learning, SEN screeners, therapies, and life skills such as cooking, bush craft and animal welfare.

The life changing opportunities are breath taking, and would mean that I wouldn’t have to turn any child away.

I have realised that with relentless passion and the desire to make fair chances for all children, we have the ability to make huge changes, or the ‘butterfly effect’. Please be part of it.

The Learn to Shine school offers:

  • Pre-screening support for diagnosis and next steps (Autism, ASD and range of SEN)
  • Behavioural and emotional coaching for families
  • 1:1 and group Literacy and Numeracy boosters
  • Therapeutic Art sessions for both children and adults/carers
The Take 5 Campaign continues – Anna Kennedy speaks to Kacey Ainsworth and Aston Avery on Gateway Radio

The Take 5 Campaign continues – Anna Kennedy speaks to Kacey Ainsworth and Aston Avery on Gateway Radio

Our Take 5 Campaign continues – Anna Kennedy speaks to Kacey Ainsworth and Aston Avery on Gateway Radio

 

Anna Kennedy speaks to Kacey Ainsworth and Aston Avery on Gateway Radio talking about the Take 5 campaign.

Talking about the importance of taking time out to recharge your batteries!

Our guests Kacey Ainsworth and Giuliana Wheater are are helping us launch our refresh Take5 Wellbeing campaign.

Kacey shared: “As lockdown lifts, I find myself feeling anxious about emerging, if I am anxious how does that feel for the people, I live with on the autism spectrum? Just one of the many worries rolling round my head at 2am. And that is before I even get to my own life and work. I find it hard to take time just for myself.

However, during lockdown I started going to a zoom yoga class early on Sunday mornings and I told everyone in the house it was the one hour in the week when I am not to be disturbed. It is hard to feel Yin or Yang if there is World War 3 erupting outside the door. It does not always work but after few weeks they all began to respect my class as I was firm in reiterating it was My time.

Now it is not 5 mins, it is a whole hour, and many cannot see their way to doing that, but it sets me up for the week in so many ways. And I return to the feeling the practise gives to me on that Sunday morning during the week when things feel more chaotic. Even five minutes of breathing, eyes closed, checking my body for tension, and trying to let it go helps me get through the week. You must take time for you.
Breathe Much love autism community. Kacey Ainsworth.”

Please watch the interview below!

Anna Talks All Things Autism with Serial Entrepreneur, Ben Pearson

Anna Talks All Things Autism with Serial Entrepreneur, Ben Pearson

Anna Talks All Things Autism with Serial Entrepreneur, Ben Pearson

This week on Women’s Radio Station, Ben Pearson, CEO of BigClothing4U and creator of Uptheir, talks to Anna Kennedy about all things Autism as a serial entrepreneur. ‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week.  Please see www.womensradiostation.com

Ben spoke to Anna to share his story from the very beginning to becoming a successful young entrepreneur, all in the name of raising awareness and the bar for inclusivity. BigClothing4U and Uptheir have fulfilled their vision of supplying comfortable and stylish designs, regardless of your size, and our interview with Ben digs deep into how these businesses came about.

Ben’s mission is to raise awareness and get rid of some of the common misconceptions surrounding autism. He explained how often someone getting angry or frustrated results in them being misjudged or suggests that the individual is trying to be difficult, which, often than not, is not the case.

A little understanding and empathy can make situations like this easier to overcome. When speaking about autism in children, Ben voiced that people often think that children with autism can’t learn or don’t want to make friends and interact with others, and even that autism can be caused by bad parenting, neither of which is true.

Ben has always had a mind for business, which resulted in the launch of BigClothing4U, and later his own brand Uptheir.

The idea for BigClothing4U came from Ben’s personal journey. He expressed that when his weight reached 30 stone, he often struggled to find affordable and fashionable clothes that provided a great fit.

After feeling penalised for having autism, he was not prepared to receive the same treatment for being overweight. As a result, BigClothing4U was created to provide value, help people and give back.

Ben Pearson

From realising the BigClothing4U dream and seeing it through to fruition, came the vision for Uptheir.

Ben told Anna that the name for the brand came simply from the need to say ‘Uptheir’s’ to the naysayers and inspire people to be truly themselves.

Ben wanted to create a brand that represents everyone, making people feel empowered and giving back to charities and causes close to his heart, such as Anna Kennedy Online, Amy Winehouse Foundation, and creating a Harvey’s Law collection with Harvey Price to combat online bullying.

As an added way of giving back, BigClothing4U has recently added donation feature at the checkout on their site, making it incredibly easy to get involved and donate to Anna Kennedy Online. Plus, you can get 20% off the BigClothing4U collection* when you use discount code ANNAKENNEDY20 at checkout.

Tune in to hear Ben’s interview with Anna on Monday 26th April 2021 at 1pm on Women’s Radio Station.

*Discount excludes Kam.

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio – Adam Murphy

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio – Adam Murphy

Anna’s guest this week on ‘All things Autism’ at Women’s Radio was Adam Murphy

Anna Kennedy’s guest this week on Women’s Radio Station was Adam Murphy.
‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week.  Please see www.womensradiostation.com

During Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month Anna Kennedy OBE talks to Adam Murphy. Adam shared:

‘I am a full-time carer for my autistic son Ryan who is 24 years old. We do everything together from long walks to shopping and during lockdown have started to cook together. I am married with three children and my wife works full time.

For my own Mental Health and Wellbeing and pre lockdown I used to go to the gym and enjoyed running.  My son was diagnosed and a young age of three years old and he attended a specialist provision for Primary school, he then went on to The Star in Allenwood, Cheltenham where he remained until he was nineteen years of age.

Ryan now attends two-day centres; one is based in Gloucester and the other in Cheltenham. During Lockdown we have tried to support Ryan with as much routine as possible within our home. It has been difficult since Ryan has missed going to his daycentre. Adam shared with Anna that Ryan’s sleep pattern can be varied. Ryan is hungry for information and asks the meaning of words even if it’s at 4 am in the morning. When you sleep its with one eye shut and one foot on the floor ready for action.’

Anna can totally relate with this since she also experiences sleep deprivation with her youngest son Angelo and her eldest son Patrick also on the spectrum is also hungry for information and facts about his interested topics such as Palaeontology and wildlife.

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