Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity

Autism Hero Awards

Celebrating excellence

Anna Kennedy Online proudly presents the Autism Hero Awards 

We are celebrating our 5th year on

Saturday 25th November 2023 at the Cumberland Hotel, Cumberland Place, London W1H 7DL

(Two minute walk from Marble Arch Tube Station)

 Anna Kennedy Online Charity created the Autism Hero Awards was created as an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the excellence taking place in the world of Autism. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate and highlight accomplishments as well as enhancing Autism awareness and acceptance.

Through these annual Awards Anna Kennedy Online recognises significant achievements and celebrates successes and we seek to acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals, teams and organisations who have proved excellence, dedication, and commitments to impacting lives that have been making a real difference in the world of Autism.

Event Times

Drinks reception 6:30-7:30pm
Event starts at 7:30pm
Event Finishes at 11pm

Autism Hero Awards 2023 Finalists

Outstanding Education Award

Rob Patterson
The Scottish Centre for Personal safety

Sponsored by


Lifetime Award

Dr Rashmi Becker MBE
Dr Linda Buchan
James Punch

Sponsored by


People’s Autism Hero Award

Asher Jenner
Dorothy Nambi
Sylvia Mochabo

Sponsored by


Leading Business of the Year Award

Ryan Statton
Brad Thorpe
Lee Chambers

Sponsored by


Sibling of the Year Award

Oliver Stiel

Sponsored by


Parent/Carer of the Year Award

Dan Harris
Margaret Njeri
Rachel Mills

Sponsored by


Online Social Network Award

Kent Autistic Trust
Paul Ward
Pines Team Highland

Sponsored by


Support Group of the Year Award

Autism Wish – Lia McCabe

Axia-ASD Post Diagnostic Support

Autism Bucks – Neil Cary

Sponsored by


Special Recognition Award


Charity Supporter of the Year Award

Sponsored by


Young Person of the Year Award

Samuel Turner
Evelyn Baker French
Kaydi Scottsville

Sponsored by


Outstanding Community Award

Jade Cook
Kayleigh Graveson
Sara Bradford

Sponsored by


Creative Arts & Media Award

Gabrielle Overton
Nadeem Shaath
Dez Love art pix

Sponsored by


Personal Achievement Award

Rachel Barcelona
Kanyeyachukwu Tagbookeke
Cory Chapman

Sponsored by


Our Judges for Autism Hero Awards 2023!

Anna Kennedy Online is proud to announce the following Judges in selecting the finalists for Autism Hero Awards 2023

This year’s judges are David Grant MBE, Kellie Barker, Detective Superintendent Dion Brown, Vicki Michelle, Samantha Lee Howe, Jo Luck and Gary Webster.

David Grant

David Grant MBE

David Grant MBE is a BAFTA award-winning broadcaster, vocal coach singer and leadership coach. His TV and music career has spanned over 40 years. He was awarded a MOBO award in 1998 and a BASCA in 2008 for his lifetime services to the music industry.

David has had 14 hit records and been nominated for 2 Brit Awards. David was awarded an MBE in 2019 for his lifetime services to music.

Together with his wife, Carrie, David was a judge on Fame Academy and now hosts the Saturday Breakfast Show on BBC Radio London. David is Father to four children three are birth children, one was adopted – all have special needs, two are autistic.

David shared: I am really looking forward to being a judge at this year’s Anna Kennedy Online Autism Hero Awards and particularly excited to hear all the stories of the great work people are doing in the autistic community.

Kacey Ainsworth

Vicki Michelle

Vicki Michelle MBE, radio presenter, businesswoman, film producer and former model. She is best known for her role as Yvette Carte-Blanche in the BBC television comedy series ‘Allo ‘Allo! and as recurring character Patricia Foster in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. In 2014, she appeared on the fourteenth series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. Vicki has been a supporter of Anna Kennedy on line for many years we have thrilled to have us as a judge .

Kellie Croft

Kellie Barker

Kellie shared: I am delighted to be asked to be a judge for such an amazing event that celebrates and showcases accomplishments of amazing people within the Autism community.

I  attended the Hero awards in 2019 and found it very moving that so many people came together to celebrate and mark each other’s amazing achievements , it was a room full of amazing special people.

Kacey Ainsworth

Samantha Lee Howe

Samantha Lee Howe has everyone talking. She has beaten all the odds to become a best-selling author topping the USA Today book charts with her novel The Stranger in our Bed. She has Hollywood talking as her debut as screenwriter of the film of the same name has become an international hit.

Samantha has also in demand in broadcasting for her wit and down to earth opinions In addition she has become a survivor ambassador for IDAS the Yorkshire domestic abuse charity.

Writing was a way to escape from reality, and her husband’s clutches who saw her endeavours as ‘a total waste of time!’ Despite all this negativity, Samantha graduated with a BA Hons, and went on to escape the marriage, divorcing her husband, and moving to North Wales.

Samantha taught English to ‘A’ Level, but just knew it was never going to be enough. In 2007 she began her professional writing career with her first novel, and has never looked back.

In February 2020, Samantha’s first psychological thriller, The Stranger in Our Bed, was released by HarperCollins One More Chapter, and immediately caused a stir in the industry. This was followed in June 2020 with the signing of a three-book deal for an explosive spy thriller trilogy, The House of Killers (The House of Killers (Book 1), Kill Or Die (Book 2) and Kill A Spy (Book 3)). The titles were all released in 2021. Pitched as Killing Eve meets Jason Bourne, the books chronicle a nerve-shredding, enemies to lovers, tale that simmers with obsession.

Samantha is now in a happy marriage to second husband, David J Howe, and is also a Patron of the charity POhWER, which gives support to those who are often socially excluded.

Jo Luck

Gary Webster

Gary Webster is acting Royalty his first role was in EastEnders, before starring as Ray Daley in the legendary hit television. series Minder opposite George Cole. He went on to appear in every major British soap before becoming a regular in channel 5’s “Family Affair.” Gary is also a writer and appears constantly on stage. He works tirelessly for animal rights and is married to presenter “Wendy Turner who he has two children with. Gary presented at the “Autism Hero Awards ” last year and has moved to want to be more involved.

Detective Chief Inspector Dion Brown

Detective Superintendent Dion Brown

Dion is 40 years old and a father of 5. He works as a Detective Chief Inspector with The Metropolitan Police in London.

He lives in Essex with his wife Sara and their children. Two of Dion’s children have autism, his son Hayden who is 12 and one of his daughters Darcy who is 9.

Dion shared: “I feel extremely honoured to have been asked to be a judge for this year’s Anna Kennedy Autism Hero Awards. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Anna and her husband Sean over the last year or so and I am full of admiration for what they do. I am very much looking forward to hearing about the remarkable stories of all the nominees this year.”

Jo Luck

Jo Luck

I am a patron of AKO and a 3 times kickboxing world champion. Kickboxing has always helped me as an outlet for my day to day frustrations that come with living with Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD and sensory processing differences.

I became involved with AKO after I decided to use my success within my sport as a way to reach out to and inspire young people.

It is a privilege to be asked to judge the Autism Hero Awards as through my experiences coping with my own autism and in helping families affected by autism I know on a personal level how isolating and stressful navigating life on the spectrum can be and how valuable good support and input truly is.

It is certainly important to recognise those who go above and beyond their professional remit and individuals who battle on regardless. It is important they know they are not alone within the autism community.

Tickets to Autism Hero Awards 2023 can be purchased here

Sponsor the Autism Hero Awards 2023!

Anna Kennedy Online is proud to announce the Autism Hero Awards 2023 which celebrates and recognise the excellence taking place in the world of Autism. The charity would like to offer you an opportunity to be our corporate sponsor for this project.

The following categories are available for you to sponsor this year:

Young Person of the Year Award

Support group of the Year Award



Sponsorship Package

We announced the Autism Heroes Award category winners in advance so that the winners and finalists attending the ball can prepare.

The cost of each category will be £650 inclusive of VAT, in return we would offer many sponsorship benefits, such as your company logo and website link on our charity website, the press board and in our program that will be distributed to all our guests.

You will also receive two VIP tickets which will include a three course meal, welcome drink and entertainment. We will also welcome you to present your sponsored category award to the winner and the highly commended recipients on stage.

Celebrities, winners, and sponsors photos are taken on the red carpet in front of the press board and then shared across the media. Past photos have been in Daily Mail online, Daily Express, Community Care Magazine, SEN Magazine, London Post, Essex Magazine plus many others.

Social media promotion to a network of over 100,000 people and outreach of over 500,000 along with full press promotion and inclusion in all press opportunities. There will be excellent networking opportunities alongside positive brand promotion and association by partnering with us including PR and press coverage of the awards at each stage of the process.

Dr Anna Kennedy OBE shared: “There are so many people around the world who are going that extra mile to help children & young people with Autism. We thought that it would be nice to let people know about this good practice. We also feel that people with Autism achieve so much on a daily basis that maybe goes unnoticed. We would like to show you how amazing Autism is through the awards.” 

For sponsorship enquiries, email:

Please click here to read testimonials from previous sponsors

Please see below the latest news about the Autism Hero Awards

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