North East-based charity, Daisy Chain is celebrating following a sell-out night of entertainment, inclusivity and celebration at the Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow 2023, attended by over 500 people at The Stockton Globe.

The organisation teamed up with Anna Kennedy OBE to shine a spotlight on the talents of autistic people and featured spectacular performances including ‘The Mind Mangler’ comedy sketch, a non-speaking adult who loves to sing, and a 12-year-old dancer who was wheelchair bound until she was 9 and has battled to be accepted into a dance school.

CEO Neeraj Sharma said: “The performances on the night were exceptional, and I’m immensely grateful for everyone who made it possible, including Anna Kennedy and Tees Valley Community Foundation.

“The show gave autistic individuals the opportunity to have a platform to shine in an inclusive and supportive environment, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the audience was blown away by the extent of the talent. More money needs to be injected into the performing arts sector to create future events like this and make them part of the annual entertainment calendar.”

Anna Kennedy OBE said: “I’m so proud to once again have brought the Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow to the North East. It means more than you can ever know since I was born in Middlesbrough.

“As a charity supporting autistic children and adults, we aim to continue to build Autism’s Got Talent year by year and we want all those involved to have fun, do what they love, make friends and just be themselves. This is one night that is all about the performers creating memories and saying – yes, I did it!”

Dylan Pitt, who showcased his amazing singing voice at the live show said: “Autism’s Got Talent was a phenomenal experience and I loved every second of it! I’m used to only ever singing to my Nana in the living room so the opportunity to perform on such a big stage in front of so many people was amazing.

“Thank you to Daisy Chain and Anna Kennedy – you have made my dreams come true!”

Autism charity Anna Kennedy Online hosts Autism’s Got Talent every year in London and has done for the last 12 years.

Daisy Chain is passionate about supporting autistic and neurodivergent children, young people, adults and families and shining a light on neurodivergent talent through its performing arts program.

 

Act One

 

 

The Chains

The Chains was formed in 2021 by attendees of the Daisy Chain Wellbeing service. The band began by performing covers of various songs at live events such as open days, Christmas festivals and much more. The band meets regularly and always have fun whether they’re learning new songs or practising old favourites (although we’ve been told never again to request ‘Don’t Stop Believing’). Recently The Chains have been working together to write an original song, which has come together wonderfully so far, and they hope to record and release it in the near future!

 

 

Charlie Conway

Charlie is 11 years old and lives in West Yorkshire. Charlie loves to sing and this was only discovered by pure chance whilst on holiday at age 8, where he asked to sing in the talent show, he sang Bohemian Rhapsody, blew everyone away and won the competition. Since then, his love for singing has grown and he now attends ‘City Sounds Studios’ for singing lessons with Danny Yates who is amazing with him and has helped him gain his graded exams with a distinction.

 

 

 

 

Ruby Johnson

Ruby is 14 years old from Hartlepool and she loves singing and drawing. Ruby has been part of daisy chain since 2022, she loves going on a Saturday to do her activities and has made some lovely friends. 

Ruby loves Ru Paul Drag Race and has been to see all her favourite drag queens who have even been on this stage the Stockton Globe so she says it’s a privilege to perform on the same stage as her idols. She is looking forward to singing for you tonight but unfortunately had a little accident so will be sitting down to perform.

 

 

 

 

Martin Finn

Martin has severe Autism and he is non verbal. Martin sang at the 1st ever Autism’s got Talent in London in 2012 which was an absolutely amazing night. Since then Martin has gone on to sing at many charity functions and Irish clubs. Music is Martin’s life, he lives for music and it helps him relax. 

Martin has also released his own Country/ Irish CD called One in a Million.

He has performed for a few of the AGT roadshow’s before in Middlesbrough and Liverpool which Martin really enjoyed. 

 

 

 

Dylan Pitt

 Dylan is 20 years old from Stockton on Tees and he just loves to sing! 

Singing is his passion and always has been from when he was a young boy. Dylan is used to singing in his bedroom to his nana but is excited that he gets his big break tonight singing on a bigger stage!

 Dylan hopes his performance makes people feel happy and shows people not to stop following there dreams as that’s what’s got him here today!

 

 

 

Fred Tennant

Fred has been attending adult groups at Daisy Chain for nearly a year now and can’t wait to perform in front of his family and friends plus his fellow Daisy Chainers.

55 year old Fred will be singing a song that he says sums up his life ‘Love like This’ by Lauren Daigle. 

Fred is very passionate about celebrating the person he is and encourages others to do the same.

 

 

 

 

Alanna Barry

Alanna is a ray of sunshine and she lights up a room. Her determination and strength has helped her break down so many barriers and overcome many obstacles. Her journey has not been easy. Alanna is 14 years old. Not only does Alanna have autism she has many other battles, and an endless list of labels including Perthes Disease which meant she had restricted mobility spending many years not being able to play like other children. Alanna then fell in love with music and dance, it’s where she can truly be herself to feel free to be happy

 

 

 

 

Marcus Mason Williams

 “Marcus is delighted to be back on stage.  He very much enjoyed performing in Liverpool with Autism Got Talent in late 2018.  He is a long standing member of Birmingham Rock School and will be performing at the Bournville Festival in June.  In August, he and fellow band member, Tom will be performing their first gig at a local wine bar in South Birmingham.  They are called the Bright Lights.

Marcus is an entrepreneur.  He set up his digital art business, CoolArt2021at the beginning of 2021. Last year he published his first illustrated novel called Zooland A Sign of Hope – available on Amazon!

 

 

 

Beverley School Choir

When the Beverley School Community first started it’s choir, some said that autistic young people would never be able to sing together successfully.. How wrong they were! The pupils and choir leaders rose to the challenge and have since performed in various settings. A specialist school for children and young people with Autism, they were the first school in the North East to be awarded the prestigious Platinum Sing up Award They are excited to share their passion and love for music.

 

 

Follow annakennedyonline.com to hear about the rest of our AGT Roadshow performers, later this week.

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