Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Congratulations to our new Ambassador Kieron Lee

Congratulations to our new Ambassador Kieron Lee

Congratulations to our new Ambassador Kieron Lee


I am pleased to announce that Kieron Lee is now joining the Anna Kennedy Online UK Autism Charity family as one of our Ambassadors. It has been a pleasure to watch Kieron grow over the years with his confidence and as an artist.

He will make a fantastic role model joining my team especially after I watched him at the launch of Kalaset Records.

Kieron was hosting and has been preparing for many months and coordinating his very own show made up of amazing students showcasing their talent on stage at South and City College Birmingham.

Congratulations Kieron and welcome.

Anna Kennedy OBE

Kieron Lee

Donna Drew, Head of School Creative Arts shared: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Kieron and we are very proud of his achievements. He will be an excellent ambassador for the charity. Kieran has represented South & City College Birmingham college at numerous events. He is supportive and a mentor to his peers and will continue to be in his new role”.

Kieron Lee

Kieron shared:

‘I met the wonderful Anna and team back in 2016 whilst we were working on our superb charity album “Building Bridges”, which was a significant and memorable time in my life. Since then, I have continued to support and work with the charity.

Anna and all the team have played a huge part in shaping the person I have become today, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me through Anna Kennedy Online, and their amazing work and I feel so proud to be a part of the AKO family. I am aware of the progress and huge difference that I have made.

If I can do it, you can too! Never give up. I am now on top of the world with an amazing new friend group, in the process of finalising my EP ready for release in the Summer (Keep your eyes peeled) and I am ready to start university next year, where I will be working towards achieving my degree in Popular Music.

I would like to encourage everyone to spread love and positivity in a world that really needs it. Especially right now. I also ask that you try to be the best advocate for mental health that you possibly can be. Be super thankful for your neighbours, thankful for your friends and family. Most importantly be thankful for yourself and know that you have huge value. Try to appreciate the little things in life as much as you can even when you feel like it is impossible. Stay strong. Reach out when you need it. You are not alone. ‘

Please watch an incredible performance of Kieron Lee below:

From one mother to another it does take a community to raise a child

From one mother to another it does take a community to raise a child

From one mother to another it does take a community to raise a child


Sharing this letter with permission: –

​Dear Anna,

I want to thank you.

14 years ago, I was told my little boy was autistic. I was told he’d never function in society. I was told to never expect him to speak.

I put him in schools and gave him medication and visited all sorts of therapists. All of this helped him.

I was exhausted all the time. I was worried about his future, even after he started talking.

I started following you. You gave me hope. I saw that every tiny thing I was doing would make a difference. The more he let me enter his world, the more he’d want to join mine.

Today my son graduated, mainstream, from high school with perfect scores. He starts college on June 6th.

He owns his own company. I don’t worry about him now, except typical things every mother does.

You are a large part of his success. When I needed advice, you were there. I was terrified when he would elope. You were there.

Every step of his journey has been his own, but he needed me to be strong for him. When I was weak or hopeless, I had support. I was able to overcome what I was going through and reach him. I made a promise to myself to be like you.

I received employment working as a vocational specialist for the disabled. I train so many people like my son. I help them get appropriate jobs with accommodations to help them succeed. I hire job coaches to aid them at work. I want to give back as you do.

Thank you for helping Joel.

From one mother to another, it does take a community to raise a child.


From one mother to another it does take a community to raise a child
From one mother to another it does take a community to raise a child
Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

We are now really in the thick of the exam season and we need to look after our children’s and young people’s mental health more than ever before.

This year group have had so much learning missed; social and emotional growing missed out on and have had the brunt of the consequences of Covid.

Many are having to sit their exams WITH Covid.

The pressure on them and their teachers is enormous.

Our neurodiverse children do not forget already have much higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies since birth and are already 2-6x more likely to pick up a mental health issue. We need to be proactive rather than reactive in helping them to self-manage and self-regulate during this incredibly stressful time.

This week I have shared a few facial massage tips which can be shared on a friends and family basis, shared by therapists in their sessions or be self-administered.

They are very discreet and can even be used during the exams themselves when you feel they overwhelm building.

All the main four neurotransmitters are stimulated with the strokes, releasing love, nurture, clarity, focus, concentration, attention, feeling able to cope and function, as well as levelling out mood and aggression and helping us to feel calm. It will also promote deeper and more restful sleep – vital before such important exams and all the pressure they carry.

I am honestly thinking of you ALL.

Take care this week and keep that huge, long Summer in your mind as the light at the end of the tunnel.

Lots of love, Giuliana

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Our guest on “All things Autism” Radio was Kirsten Giles CEO MedicAlert

Our guest on “All things Autism” Radio was Kirsten Giles CEO MedicAlert

Our guest on “All things Autism” Radio was Kirsten Giles CEO MedicAlert

Anna Kennedy’s guest on ‘All things Autism’ was Kirsten Giles CEO MedicAlert, please click here to listen to these amazing shows!


Kirsten joined MedicAlert in 2017 and leveraged her 27 years’ experience in the private sector to take over the helm at MedicAlert, after being drawn to an organisation where the primary focus is to help people within society who are medically vulnerable rather than a company solely focused on profits.

Her career started in IBM as a graduate recruit and after 17 years there she took a few years off when her two boys were young. She then worked in the city in asset finance for about 7 years and then took a COO role in telecoms. She loves the fact that in a charity, income is another resource not the main objective.

Driven by the objective to grow membership, ensure the charity is sustainable and also making sure MedicAlert is a great place to work for its employees, Kirsten has proven her ability to deliver the company objectives and communicate the importance of medical ID tags, whilst providing the organisations services to as many people as possible.

Kirsten is determined to continue raising the profile of MedicAlert and is spearheading an initiative to secure sponsors to provide medical IDs to those who need the service but are not fortunate enough to have access.

Kirsten is delighted to have the opportunity to chat with Anna, helping increase awareness of autism and the role MedicAlert can play in assisting individuals to lead a more active and fulfilled life, boosting both their physical and mental wellbeing.

Please click here to read the case study for Jaimie.

MedicAlert are funding fifty free memberships as they would like to help many more people living with autism. Click here for more details.

About Kirsten

What do you do at MedicAlert?
My role at MedicAlert is Chief Executive. This provides me with a view across the whole organisation and a chance to influence direction and improve the service we are able to provide to our members. I have tried to put MedicAlert members at the heart of everything we do and how we work.

How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
I hope they find me supportive and helpful. I suspect they may dread the phrase ‘ I have just had an idea ’

What do you like about working at MedicAlert?
We have a fantastic team and the work we do is so important to our members. It is so gratifying when we hear from members about how important the MedicAlert ID service is to them, how safe and confident it makes them feel and what activities and interests they now feel able to enjoy.

What is something in your industry that you have to deal with that you want to fix?
There is not enough awareness of how a simple thing like a medical ID backed by a reputable service can improve lives. Paramedics and other medical professionals in emergencies love them and medical IDs increase the peace of mind of the wearers and their families. About a third of the population in the UK has a medical condition or concern; medical ID wearing should be much more commonplace to keep everyone safe and allow them to lead fulfilling lives.

Outside work I enjoy:
Walking in the countryside. We lost our 15-year-old Labrador, Humphrey, recently and walking hasn’t been quite the same since.
I have a rowing machine which I like using. It is a chance to switch off a bit and pretend I am on a lake. I just need to remember to pace myself and keep breathing.
My grandma taught me how to knit and so I have knitted quite a few things over the years. During lockdown I learned how to knit socks, a strangely satisfying and addictive passtime. After all you can never have too many socks, or so I keep telling my family….not sure they agree!

Favourite film/TV series:
My favourite film is The Thomas Crown Affair – (Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo). I also loved Avatar and am looking forward to the sequels.

Favourite tipple:
Definitely a Gin and tonic (ice and lemon – very traditional!)

Race and Learning Disability – an Introduction

Race and Learning Disability – an Introduction

Race and Learning Disability – an Introduction

At Respond we work with marginalised groups of people with learning disabilities, autism, or both, and we specialise in trauma and loss.

Our mission is ‘To bring about positive change that enables people with learning disabilities, autism or both who have experienced abuse, violence or trauma to live richer, more resilient lives.’ It is important to acknowledge the marginalised racial group within this further marginalised group of people with learning disabilities – this is known as double discrimination. Click here to read the full article.

Anna Kennedy online have created a survey as part of our Campaign culture, it is important that we hear your views.
Please click here to complete this brief survey and share with friends and family.
Author: Mala Thapar