Anna Kennedy Online Patrons & Ambassadors

Kacey Ainsworth has been working in entertainment industry since 1978.  She is a multi awarding winning actress who came into prominence for her portrayal of Little Mo in Eastenders.

Since then she has starred in lots of Tv shows including Holly Blue, Call the Midwife and most recently as a very evil witch in cbbcs. The Worst Witch.  She can currently be seen in ITVs Grantchester alongside Robson Green every Sunday night at 9pm for the next 5 weeks.  After several members of her family were diagnosed with Autism she decided to get actively involved in raising awareness of autistic spectrum disorders and promoting inclusion for those on the spectrum.

John-Paul J-Rock Horsley
John-Paul met Anna a few months ago through social media and then again at an Autism fundraiser held by BMW London. John Paul is a member of the band Big Brovaz and proud Father to Richard-Michael Kymanni  Horsley and four other children. John-Paul is an advocate for raising Autism Awareness and frequently visits schools and provisions. Anna and John-Paul got on immediately the moment they met, and are on the same wavelength with so much common ground, Autism Awareness being the greatest. There will be lots to follow and lots of secret projects that will be revealed in the near future – so watch out for this collaboration and dynamic duo are set to rock the world of Autism!

Author of 2 books and a third on the way, I’m a 10 years freelance writer, corporate & show-biz PR professional and popular radio voice (see voice-over tape below). Pulling together Special Events is a forte and great successes have been: KPMG’s Women in Business; Refuge Glamour Ball and Sandance Ball. Originally discovered for my hairdressing talents way back when.. including eight years in Beverly Hills – returning to London in the 90’s, I rose to fame as a celebrity hairdresser. In addition to my own hair and beauty column in The Sun newspaper, I was a regular on the Lorraine Kelly’s GMTV show during which I transformed Lorraine into movie legend Elizabeth Taylor. http://asksteve2cu.blogspot.co.uk/

Hello, my name is Dermot and a AKO Young Patron/Charity Champion. I have Asperger’s Syndrome and depression. I am currently studying for a Diploma in Creative Media Production at College, with the ambition of becoming either a journalist, or developing a full time career in PR.  I had been diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of 8, which was incredibly early! Although, mum had been fighting for a diagnosis since I was 2. I’m an avid Tweeter and I look forward to seeing you at our events soon!

Ryan is 15 years old and has Aspergers. He has always found it difficult to make and keep friends resulting in him going to many different schools. His love of music and drama has always gave him an outlet, and he thrives on the excitement of performing, whether it’s playing guitar or the many shows that’s he’s appeared in. He took part in last years Autisms got talent where he made wonderful new friends. It was also the start of a wonderful year, where Ryan had the opportunity to get involved with some great fundraising/awareness events. Ryan is extremely proud to be asked to take on the role of young persons  Patron for Anna Kennedy Online.
Dancer James Hobley, a previous finalist in Britain’s Got Talent become our first Young Patron for Anna Kennedy Online. We are so proud to see how how much he as achieved in such a short time.  This year, at the the age of 15 he has won a place the the prestigious English National Ballet School. James started off on his dance career when he won a scholarship to attend and board at The Hammond School that is in Chester, a specialist musical theatre and dance school.

We are very proud of Jo Redman who  joined Anna Kennedy Online as a Patron in June 2013.

Here’s her story

Today I am so different to the person I was several years ago – I still look the same, sound the same and have all the same interests but how I look at my life and how I view myself has completely changed.  I actually grew up without a diagnosis and life was pretty difficult.  I didn’t know why I struggled and felt different, my parents didn’t know why their daughter wouldn’t join in with other children and my teachers just looked at me as a quiet, good little girl.  There was some amount of bullying at school, a lot of it was active isolation meaning they sought to leave me out but there was also name calling such as ‘spastic’ and ‘freak’.  Some of the name calling was probably pretty standard for kids at that time but it had a much larger impact on me as I felt different already.  Fortunately for me I never experienced any physical bullying at school, it was always other children laughing at my expense over something I had no idea why they were laughing such as my appearance.  I would go through periods of not talking all through playschool, infant, junior and senior school – even into the workplace  Click here to read the full story

Ambassadors

With a career in the spotlight which began in 2000, 33-year-old Danielle Lloyd has been a household name since she shot to fame after being crowned Miss England in 2004 and Miss Great Britain in 2006. In 2012, Danielle married her now ex-husband Jamie, and they had three beautiful sons, Archie, Harry and George. Being a mum is what Danielle is most proud of and nothing is more important to her than her amazing boys.

Danielle’s TV career has ranged from shows such as The Weakest Link, Total Wipeout and Who’s Doing The Dishes, all of which she won – to learning new skills in TV’s ‘Splash’ with Tom Daley in 2014. She regularly appears on the front cover of leading magazines like Fabulous, OK, Now, New, Closer and Reveal.

Danielle said: ‘I’m extremely proud to be an ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online; their outstanding work impressed me so much that doing charity work with them for people with autism is a real privilege. This is a cause that is close to my heart with my own children, and I’ve seen first hand how those with autism have been directly helped by Anna and the team’s work.’

Phillip Wills is an Autism Father from Truro, United Kingdom near Cornwall. Phillip Wills’ son Josh is 12 years old and 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. Here is one of the videos that Phillip Wills developed about his son Josh’s journey in 2012.
Aston Avery is a young man who has overcome a great deal in his young life. Aged 21, 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.

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.

Our first overseas Ambassador is Dani Bowman. Dani founded her company, DaniMation Entertainment, at age 11. She has worked professionally in the animation industry since 14. Bow has premiered 6 award-wining animated short films at San Diego Comic-Con each year for the past 5 years. Dani utilizes her six passions of Autism Advocacy, Public Speaking, Animation, Illustration, Fine and Visual Arts, and Teaching Animation to show young adults on the spectrum and with other disabilities that anything is possible and inspire them to leverage their unique ability. Since age 15, Dani has led summer animation camps around the country, initially with Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films, and then expanding out on her own to teach to over 700 teens and young adults. Dani not only teaches animation, but also works with her students as a role model and mentor, encouraging them to follow their dreams. Her contributions to the autism community have been widely acknowledged from receiving the Temple Grandin Award from Future Horizons in 2012 to being the first American with Autism honored at Anna Kennedy’s “Wear It for Autism” event in London in October 2014.

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.