The Autism Hero Awards 2019 – winners details!

The Autism Hero Awards 2019 – winners details!

Congratulations to the Autism Hero Awards finalists – please take a look at each of our winners below!

Lifetime Achiever Award: Winner – Tanya Philips

Tanya Philips has battled Autism and Asperger’s all her life, along with being partially sighted and partially deaf, Tanya has been a single mother to two children, one having cerebral palsy, a heart defect and autism.

Tanya having left school with no qualifications now has three degrees a BA (Hons) in Education, a BSc & MSc in Psychology and is now working towards her 3rd Ph.D. on health and social care. Her main focus is identifying prisoners with ASD and designing a framework to rehabilitate those identified to not re-offend.

Tanya was a recent winner of an ERSA Award and a presenter to the Ministry of Justice. Tanya definitely flies the flag for ASD and Asperger’s.

Sponsors: Vie Aesthetics

Sibling of the year: Winner – Seray Marius

Seray Marius has two brothers age 35 and 12 both diagnosed with Autism. Seray was a constant support to her older brother, looking out for him and helping her mum when she became a single mum. She never complained and never treated her brother any different which is why he is so independent today.

When Seray was 21, her mum found out she was pregnant and her youngest brother was not only diagnosed with Autism but had Cerebral Palsy too.

Seray will watch the same film with her brothers over and over again and listen to their constant singing, she will re-arrange work to attend their appointments with her mum and never complains when missing out on important mother daughter time if it has to be cancelled.

Seray’s mum thinks she is one in a million.

Sponsors: Green board Games

Creative Arts and Media Award: Winner – Noah Loo

Noah Loo is only 12 years old, he was diagnosed with Autism age 8.

Noah sees himself as a sensitive and creative person although he suffers with great anxiety. Noah started to draw age 5 when his mum was going through cancer treatment, he drew big characters holding weapons expressing his feelings of protecting his mum.

In 2017 Noah was invited to design the poster for Festival of Autism Swansea, this is an event to celebrate the achievements of those touched by Autism.

He has since held his own art exhibition at various venues. He was commissioned to design the birthday cards for the Award Winning Authentic Chinese Cuisine – Gigi Gao’s Favourite Authentic Chinese restaurant. Noah also won the Young Artist Award by Glynn Vivian Art Gallery 2018.

Sponsors: Training2Care

Personal Achievement Award: Winner – Charlotte Banfield


Charlotte Banfield is one of life’s diamonds according to her step father, she was diagnosed with Autism, Cerebral Palsy and has had a heart defect since birth.

Charlotte strives endlessly to be a role model to everyone around her.

Charlotte has bought home World Championship Surfing medals from competing all over the world and more recently a medal from the Abu Dhabi World Games for the GB Basketball team.

Charlotte is about to complete a BSc in Microbiology at the University of Exeter and is only 21 years old. Charlotte is an inspiration.

Sponsors: Options Autism


Peoples Autism Hero Award: Winner – Richie Smith

Richie Smith has been nominated for his passion and drive to support individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Richie a year ago had no funding and no support yet he strives to make a difference in a lot of children and adults lives.

He travels around schools in the North East teaching kids with autism that it’s okay to be them! To date he’s helped over 2000 kids and been to over 97 schools. The kids look up to him and can see that autism isn’t life limiting and they can achieve whatever they put their minds to.

He’s such a fantastic role model and inspires people. He had a dream of owning a yellow Maserati car so that others can see how cool it is to have autism, and he has achieved this dream.

Sponsors: Kedleston Group

Parent/Carer Award: Winner – Kenny Elvin

Kenny Elvin lives with his two sons both diagnosed with Autism and his wife who also has disabilities. Kenny works full time leaving the house very early in the morning to complete his job before heading home to help look after his family. He drives his son Macauley all over the country so he can fulfil his dreams of performing or being a charity ambassador.

His son Owen can have meltdowns where the only thing that calms him down is walking around the supermarket holding a basket and this can be at any time of day or night. Kenny gives up his one day a week to drive Macauley from Ipswich to London to attend Pineapple Performing Arts.

When his wife is bed bound Kenny takes over the running of the house and sometimes cooking four different meals for the boys and Michelle. Kenny truly is their Hero and they couldn’t live without him.

Sponsors: Anna Kennedy Online

Top Education Award: Winner – Joel Mellor

Joel Mellor has been nominated by a parent of a young 18-year-old girl who has been home tutored for the last four years due to her anxiety and depression associated with her Autism.

Despite being Head of department and having a young family Joel has never let her down and has been an unstinting source of support and positivity. He understands her needs and has given her the confidence in her ability to succeed.

This young lady has just taken up a place at University studying Criminology and without the support of Joel, she wouldn’t be doing so.Joel really is an Autism Hero in their eyes.


Sponsors: Options Autism

Leading Business Award: Winner – Portland College

Portland College has a strong and proven history of supporting people with a wide range of disabilities to realise their full potential. 2012 was the first year where the majority of their learners had autism so they needed to make changes to provide a secure platform where everyone had the opportunity to excel. Portland introduced key roles and appointed qualified and experienced trainers to educate staff to understand Autism and to support the learners in different ways.

In 2019 they applied for Advanced Accreditation, the highest accolade possible, following a process of auditing, assessing and reporting on their quality of provision they achieved it in June 2019. They are 1 of 3 providers in the East Midlands to be awarded and are extremely proud.

Sponsors: Talem Law

Entrepreneurial Award: Winner – Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor over the last 4 years has been working on her own to design and develop a set of cards to help people of all ages understand what it’s like to travel on an aeroplane.

Rebecca has a son with Autism and is an ex British Airways Cabin Crew so she knows first-hand how demanding a flight can be.The set is made up of 7 journey cards that start from arriving at the airport to reaching the destination. The cards are multi-functional and can be used for first time fliers and nervous passengers also. Rebecca now has a digital expert working with her and she is looking open this up to the whole travel industry and other areas such as shopping centres, dental centres and cruise ships.

Sponsors: Born Anxious

Online Social Network Award: Winner – Laura Price

Laura Price is a mum to a young man with Autism. Many parents focus on their own families at stressful, busy times in their lives, not Laura. She set up a social media group on Facebook for Parents of children and young adults with Autism called Spectrum Club in Northamptonshire.

There are over 1700 members now who give each other peer support, share opportunities that are available in the local area and even negotiate autism friendly adjustment sessions for the cinema, swimming and other reduced rate activities.

Laura attends events and keeps members up to date, provides support and is an essential member of the local autism community. Laura is an inspiration.

Sponsors: Recite Me

Special Recognition Award: Winner – Leo Andrade

Stephen Andrade, 23, had been detained 70 miles from Holloway in an assessment and treatment unit (ATU) in Clacton-on-Sea, where he was dosed up on eight different anti-psychotic medications. Leo, Stephen’s mum had been fighting for 6 years for his release, she has been on the radio, appeared on TV and in magazines. Leo has advocated for families all over the country.

Throughout this year Leo has been working with Matt Hancock and his team to make government care plans better and for a better future for all social care. During the Summer Leo organised a protest which was held at different parts of the country, this was to put a stop to children and adults with Autism being stripped of their human rights. Leo has been fighting and highlighting the secrets kept in the UK that happens in Health and Social Care and as long as she has breath in her body she will carry on fighting to speak out and get the truth heard.

Three weeks before Christmas last year Leo’s son Stephen was finally released after Islington Council and NHS England finished adapting a house for him in Hillingdon, where he now receives 24-hour care.Stephen is doing really well his mum can now go and see him every day as he is a lot closer to her now. His carers are really looking after him and is he now getting the life he deserves.

Sponsors: Anna Kennedy Online

Charity Supporter of the year: Winner – Coral Kennedy

The following three finalists were not able to attend the awards.

Each winner’s story was shared and showcased on how they were heroes and making a huge impact in the Autism world… 

Outstanding Community Award:

Winner – Jane Lord

Jane Lord started her charity Buddy’s for Children with Autism due to having no support for her and her children diagnosed with Autism.
The youth groups all adore her as she gives up her time to take them out on trips and organises Lego Therapy, she is a key part of the Autism Community in Manchester and has also spoke in Parliament.

Jane owns a charity shop of which all the volunteers are autistic or have children attend the groups. Jane always puts everyone before herself, driving children to school when the taxi fails to pick them up to babysitting so parents can have respite.

Recently Jane has bought a static caravan where families can go away and enjoy a respite holiday which is kitted out with Autism friendly things and is a fraction of the cost of other holidays.

Sponsors: Living Autism

Young Person of the Year Award:

Winner – Jayden Worthington

Jayden Worthington has been nominated because he is an amazing young man, he works so hard in everything he does and always puts others first.

Jayden has had his own troubles but never puts them on other people yet he is always first to help others.

Jayden has been working with his local CAMHS and giving talks on the work they do, he has also made a documentary for them.

Jayden has transitioned to Sixth Form this year and has coped really well.

Jayden had some devastating news this year when his partner sadly took his own life, even though it is a long road ahead Jayden has been coping well and is taking each day one at a time. Jayden really is an amazing young man.

Sponsors: Supply Desk

Young Person of the Year Award:

Winner – Morgan Smith

Morgan Smith has shown such bravery throughout his school years. It got to a point where Morgan wanted to take his own life due to the extreme bullying which was going on and the school refused to accept it was happening.

His mum had lost count of the amount of times she had to pick him up from the side of the road having tearful panic attacks because of the nasty bullies.

Eventually they left the village they were living in and after a long battle with the LA he got accepted to a new school.

Morgan still suffers with deep rooted anxiety but has not given up his dream to go to University. Morgan helps take care of his mum who is battling a long term illness and is always there for her. Morgan is his mum’s Hero.

Sponsors: Supply Desk

Are you ready for Autism Hero Awards 2020?

You can start nominating now!

Click here for details

The Autism Hero Awards 2019

The Autism Hero Awards 2019

On Saturday 9th November Anna Kennedy Online celebrated its 4th Autism Hero Awards event that took place at the outstanding Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London.

What is the Autism Hero Awards?

The Autism Hero Awards was handed over to Anna Kennedy OBE by its founder Jo Kirton Salmon three years ago where Anna presented the awards for Wales. Jo wanted to hand over the awards to Anna, so she could expand the event and share the event across the UK.

Anna and her team from Anna Kennedy Online wanted to create an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the excellence taking place in the world of Autism. This is a unique way to celebrate and showcase accomplishments as well as enhancing Autism awareness and acceptance.

Anna Kennedy OBE shared “Every year, 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.” This honourable occasion was a unique opportunity 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.

Winners were chosen by a panel of distinguished judges who were Dr Chris Papadopoulos, Kacey Ainsworth, Glen Knight, Jo Luck, Chris Bonnello, Frank Khalid and Marianna Dean​.Amongst the room full of heroes, there were celebrities present which included Kacey Ainsworth, Dr Pam Spurr and Danielle Mason.

The winners were all presented with their awards by sponsors, celebrities and judges.

The judges shared their experiences on how tough it was to make their choices as they read such compelling concise biographies of the individuals whom were nominated that not only impacted people’s lives and making positive changes selflessly.

Dr Anna Kennedy OBE said: “The Autism Hero Awards recognise the extraordinary achievements of people that show dedication, commitment and courage of all the nominees and winners is inspirational. The awards are a great way to celebrate these accomplishments and unforgotten heroes and what life changing impacts are made on people’s lives”.

On the night

The evening celebrations commenced with a red-carpet welcome drink on arrival, a delicious three-course meal, followed by special announcements, the announcements of the winners which were followed by a DJ, entertainment to celebrate every finalist.

Pineapple Performing Arts opened the evening with an outstanding dance routine, there were two amazing singers Daniel Docherty our charity ambassador and Liam Burgess who are performers at Autism’s Got Talent star and once again received a standing ovation.

The evening was a huge success with emotions and gratitude hearing the obstacles and successes of each finalist through sheer determination and dedication.

The winners

The evening was a huge success with emotions and gratitude hearing the obstacles and successes of each finalist through sheer determination and dedication.

The audience felt humbled and honoured to share such an amazing evening and realisation that nothing is impossible, and the audience were overwhelmed to experience very emotional life experiences.

All the finalists were sensational people in society and the Autism world who will continue to rock the world. The winners of the Autism Hero Winners 2019 are:

  • Outstanding Education Award – Joel Mellor
  • Sibling of the Year Award – Seray Marius
  • Creative Arts and Media Award – Noah Loo
  • Lifetime Achiever Award – Tanya Philips
  • Young Person of the Year Award  – Jayden Worthington and Morgan Smith
  • Outstanding Community Award – Jane Lord
  • Peoples Autism Hero Award – Richie Smith
  • Parent/Carer Award – Kenny Elvin
  • Personal Achievement Award – Charlotte Banfield
  • Leading Business Award – Portland College
  • Online Social Network Award – Laura Price
  • Entrepreneurial Award – Rebecca Taylor 
  • Special Recognition Award – Leo Andrade
  • Charity Volunteer of the Year – Coral Kennedy

More details on each winner to follow soon!

I am now The people’s autism hero.

I honestly can’t believe it, i am like totally blown away has been the hardest and most emotional weekend ever. Thank you so so much Suzanne Mccue for coming to support me as i totally broke down on the stage speech as i was taken away i would have never dreamed i would min the main award of the evening. Even thinking about i am still crying now as i right this post as it means the world to me and i never thought i would be where i am today’s. Autism is awesome and i love it.

Cant believe i won the award ( The people’s autism hero award. ) and also finalist as a entrepreneurial. Was the only person in two awards.

Thank you so so much to the @autism hero Awards and Annakennedyonline for giving me this award. But also a massive thank you to all of you guys as i received the 100s of nominations without even knowing. Without you guys I couldn’t keep going and am super grateful as i told my self no one will care about you and you will not ever win. I do this to my self so i project my self and feelings but even tho i speak to people every day, this was the most emotional heart breaking evening of my life.

The train down i lost my suit and didn’t remember till we where in London, we had to then go buy a new one as didn’t know what Elsa to do. Then got soaked and then finally got to the hotel. After a little down time we went to the awards and i was totally blown away I won the award. For a long time I always felt i am a no one but last night showed i mean something to some people.

Last night was the first time for that moment I didn’t feel worthless i felt like i was finally ok to be me. This award as given me more than you can ever give someone. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart you are all Awesometistic and i promise i will not stop helping and voicing as long as i have you guys i will always do my best

Richie Smith

I wanted to attend the Autism Hero Awards, and I am so glad I did. The awards celebrated siblings, parents and guardians, businesses, teachers, and autistic individuals. I sat in a room filled with people that fight for autistic people. I heard stories of those with the greatest of empathy for the affect autism has.

To hear of siblings, like my brother, who stand by their siblings as they fight through life. The awards are run by Anna Kennedy who has championed autism for many years as her two sons are autistic.

The charity, Anna Kennedy Online, does incredible things for those who are autistic and their families, raising awareness and supporting us.

Rosie Weldon

Had such an incredible night last night with such amazing people at the “Autism Hero Awards” catching up with such wonderful people who I’ve missed so much.

Thank you so much to the amazing Anna Kennedy and the rest of the AKO Team for putting all this together. Plus well done to the outstanding Daniel Docherty for performing last night you were amazing as always mate can’t wait to catch up again with you and everyone soon

Macauley Elvin

With all these continuous and very exciting developments of the charity, it is fundamental in raising Autism awareness with remarkable advocates on board as the positive way to reach out to the wider audiences and empower them with knowledge and strength.

All proceeds for the evening were donated to the Anna Kennedy Online Charity to continue its dynamic work in raising Autism awareness within society.

Announcing the Autism Hero finalists 2019!!!

Announcing the Autism Hero finalists 2019!!!

Anna Kennedy Online Charity and Judging panel are proud to announce the finalists for the Autism Hero Awards 2019, congratulations!

Our judges had a really tough time selecting the finalists this year, as so many people give so much time to help the lives of others. It was hard to choose finalists because they are all so deserving.

The Autism Community therefore has so much to give to society of large and they are all winners!

Special message from Dr Anna Kennedy OBE:
“Together with my team we want to celebrate the unforgotten heroes that go the extra mile and make life changing steps that impact and improve the quality of life for autistic individuals and the lives of their families.There will also be a Special Recognition Award and Charity Volunteer of the Year which will be announced on the night. I look forward to meeting you and congratulations for being a finalist”

Outstanding community Award

Melanie Timberlake

Clair Prosser

Jane Lord

Online Social Award

Freddie Smith

Nikki Robertson

Laura Price

Young Person of the Year Award

Morgan Smith

Jermaine Cartwright 

Jayden Worthington

Parent / Carer Award

Kenny Elvin

Lisa Monaghan

Louise Quinn-Flipping

Sibling of the Year Award

Owen Elvin

Alice Partington

Seray Marius

Outstanding Education Award

Agata Benson

Joel Mellor

Donna Swan

Deborah Shepherd

Lifetime Award

Mark Morton

Tanya Phillips

Becky Farmer

Creative Arts and Media Award

Noah Loo

Siddharth Gadiyar

Leading Business Award

Tom Cliffe

Ali Knowles

Portland College

Richard Fetherston

Personal Achievement Award

Kelly Waite

Charlotte Banfield

Martin Hunter

People’s Autism Hero Award

Richard Smith

Hazel Lim

Louise Kirby

Entrepreneurial Award

Rebecca Taylor

Richard Smith

The celebration will be taking place at the prestigious Chelsea Harbour Hotel, Chelsea Harbour, London SW10 0XG. Please click here for details.

The evening will commence at 6pm with a red-carpet welcome drink on arrival, a delicious three-course meal, DJ, entertainment. Carriages at 12.30. Click here to buy your tickets!

All proceeds for the evening will be donated to the Anna Kennedy Online charity to continue its dynamic work in raising Autism awareness within society.

Autism’s Got Talent Ruislip roadshow – performers announced!!!

Autism’s Got Talent Ruislip roadshow – performers announced!!!

Drum Roll ..……the wait is finally over!
Announcing our Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow

Here are our performers for 2019!!












Autism with

Matthew and Callum




Autism’s Got Talent Ruislip roadshow will be taking place at:
The Compass Theatre Glebe Avenue, Ickenham, Uxbridge UB10 8PD
Doors open at 6.00 pm.
If you would like to attend click here for tickets!
Acts will be travelling from all over the UK, which not only proves how popular Autism’s Got Talent is becoming, but how important a platform such as this one is to those on the spectrum.
“It is extremely important that people with autism have an outlet. Autism’s Got Talent is a safe and secure environment where those who want to, can express and perform without fear of being judged or criticised. Autism’s Got Talent is one of a kind, and is extremely poignant to those with autism and their families. Those involved can have fun, do what they love, make friends and be themselves, and have one night which is all about them.”
Autism’s Got Talent, which is a red carpet event, is a celebration of everyone on the autism spectrum and everyone in attendance will be guests of honour and treated like VIPs. We love to showcase a huge variety of performers that are out there and this year is no exception. 

Autism’s Got Talent Highlights to be Shown on Katie Price’s Show

Autism’s Got Talent Highlights to be Shown on Katie Price’s Show

On Monday next week, 22nd July at 1 pm Katie Price will be sharing some highlights from Autism’s Got Talent on her Quest Red TV show ‘Katie Price: My Crazy Life‘.

At the London show Katie and her son Harvey presented one of the acts, and Harvey shouted out words of encouragement to the performers. Harvey was so taken with the show that Katie sent in his audition of Harvey playing the organ. Harvey then showcased his talent and performed ‘Over the Rainbow’ and ‘ When the Saints Come Marching In’ for the recent Autism’s Got Talent St Ives Roadshow.

The audience gave Harvey a standing ovation, with Harvey’s sister Princess in attendance to support her brother. Harvey thanked the audience and was appreciative of the applause and his certificate of participation.

Autism’s Got Talent has a unique format: it does not hold auditions, instead it aims to boost participants’ confidence by shining a spotlight on their individual strengths. The show was founded in 2012 by Anna Kennedy OBE, ambassador for Options Autism, one of the key part sponsors of the event, who provides care and education to children, young people and adults with autism.

CEO of Options Autism, Graham Baker, was delighted to be supporting the show for the third year running. Graham shares: ‘AGT provides an amazing – and incredibly moving – opportunity for those with autism to shine and celebrate success. Recognising and nurturing the unique strengths of individuals is key to unlocking their potential and we are proud to support this leading charity and autism event.’

Previous AGT stars include the dance group Autism with Attitude, who recently appeared on BBC One’s hit show The Greatest Dancer.

Anna and her team took the show to St Ives and the audience were treated to a dazzling array of live performances, including 23-year-old singer Charlotte Fieldson, who was non-verbal until the age of five when she started to sing along to ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Local magician Jono Blythe also wowed audiences with the help of his glamorous volunteer Katie Price, who travelled down to Cornwall to support her son Harvey as he made his debut performance in the show.

Harvey – who has severe autism, a rare complex genetic condition called Prader-Willi Syndrome and is partially blind – has been playing the keyboard since the age of four. He performed two songs at the event, footage of which will be shared on Katie Price’s latest TV show this summer.

Anna Kennedy OBE, a passionate advocate and campaigner for individuals and families affected by autism for over 20 years, reflected on the night, saying: ‘This year’s Autism’s Got Talent has been another smash hit, packed with some of our most exciting talent yet. We’ve been blown away by the amount of positive feedback from both press and families and are hugely proud of all of our performers.

‘AGT is a life changing experience and it has been a privilege to watch our performers gain confidence and self-belief. We’re looking forward to celebrating our next roadshow on 12th October at the Winston Churchill Theatre in Ruislip.’


Daniel Docherty on singing and his autism

Daniel Docherty on singing and his autism

Carlow & Kilkenny’s number one radio station with over 73,000 adult listeners every week.

Daniel Docherty has an amazing voice. He has autism. He comes from Kilmanagh, County Kilkenny and is a 2nd Year student at WIT.

Please listen to the podcast below: