Colin Mulholland running in London Marathon to fundraise for our charity

Colin Mulholland running in London Marathon to fundraise for our charity

The 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon is taking place on 28/04/2019 in London and the distance is 26.2 miles and an incredible and world renowned run, where thousands of runners participate. We are thrilled to share that one of our incredible supporters Colin Mulholland has has been successful in qualifying for Virgin Money London Marathon and he has entered to raise funds for Anna Kennedy Online.

We are so excited and know that this is one of life’s great challenges and the atmosphere is second to none and the sense of achievement is wonderful. 

To sponsor Colin please click here to  visit his Just Giving page and please donate and support this incredible man who is going to great lengths to raise funds our charity.

Colin said: 

“Hi I’m Col and for the 1st time I will be running the London Marathon 28th April 2019. I am hoping to raise a minimum of £1,000 for the Anna Kennedy Online Charity.

Autism is a developmental disorder characterised by trouble with social interaction and communication and by restricted and repetitive behaviour.

Anna is the Ambassador of UK Autism and works tirelessly to raise awareness and money for Autistic children and their families. It is also close to our hearts as a family member has Autism.Thank you in advance for donating to this amazing charity. Every penny helps.”

Our Charity response to NHS Development plan

Our Charity response to NHS Development plan

The NHS has produced its new health service prevention measures (a 10 year plan) designed to be pre-emptive i.e. stopping problems happening.

There is a lot to this initiative including providing early intervention for people with autism. In summary autism will become a priority, the objective being to reduce health inequalities i.e. less favourable treatment received by people with an ASD compared to others.

It seems that the NHS will be taking advice from interested parties such as charities.

It has been suggested that part of the strategy should be:

  • Training in ASD at all levels (including GP’s)
  • Early diagnosis and follow up support

The details have not been decided and clearly, we have seen initiatives like this before. That said, this is a clear recognition that outcomes for people with an ASD are less favourable and it is, for now at least, an attempt to do something about rectifying this.

Anna Kennedy OBE 

Director

Charity Celebrity Football Match And Family Fun day – 19th May 2019

Charity Celebrity Football Match And Family Fun day – 19th May 2019

On May 19th 2019 United For Charity are delighted to be joining forces with Anna Kennedy Online and Team Avery Essex to Raise awareness and funds for Autism Awareness and a Homeless Shelter in the local area by hosting their annual Celebrity Football Match and Family Fun Day in Aid of this fantastic Charities.

The Day will start at 10am where the doors will be opened for a quiet hour where anyone who needs to settle into the surroundings of the day and enjoy some entertainment can come and take it in before the larger crowds appear.

The main doors will open at 11 with plenty to do in our family fun day section and the game will be aiming to kick off around 12:30.

The day will include but not limited to.

  • Inflatables 6+
  • Purchase Stalls
  • Game stalls
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Raffle
  • Characters walking amongst the crowd
  • Guessing games and so so much more

We have a huge Celebrity team and supporters which are subject to change and be added to these can be found on: https://www.facebook.com/unitedforcharity/

Tickets for the day will be prices at

£6 for Adults 16yrs+
£4 children age 8yrs to 15yrs
Under 8 Free

The day will be a fun packed family fun day with so much to do for the whole family so come and join us and help us raise the 1000’s needed to continue the great work these organisations do.

Buy your tickets now, click here to purchase!

About United for Charity

United for Charity was set up in 2016 when founder Chris Cooper decided it was a good idea to enter the London Marathon, having applied and getting a ballot place he chose to run in aid of a charity close to his heart St Luke’s Hospice which is where his Nan had sadly passed away a few years before.

When he approached the Hospice they said he didn’t need to raise any money as he had a ballot spot but the other runners each raise £1500 each in order to get a charity place but he didn’t see this as fair and set himself a target. The target was to raise £3000 enough for the hospice to have 2 runners in the marathon and help raise their profile.

Now was the hard part how do you do this? Chris is an FA Referee and had played to a relatively good standard so football was all he really knew and he got talking to a good friend of his Darren Manning who has some good contacts in the celebrity world and so it was born United for Charity Celebrity Football Match.

The first year had its hiccups but it didn’t stop Chris and he managed to raise just under £12000 for St Luke’s over 2 events increasing the family fun day part each year. United for Charity has had some amazing support over the years from Family and Friends, sponsors like Michael Barnard and Bowers and Pitsea F.C (Darren the groundsman, Sheila the Clubhouse Manager and more)

The reason I do what I do with United For Charity is written at the bottom of my Logo, “BECAUSE CHARITY MATTERS”, Without help from everyone that supports me a lot of charities wouldn’t exist and it’s the work they do that truly makes the difference. Putting a few hours away a year compared to what these charities and individuals do is nothing I’m just happy to do what I can to help no matter how big or small that might be.

Chris said: “Anna Kennedy Online Autism Charity was brought to my attention when I met Aston Avery one of the charities Ambassadors whilst he interviewed me for my first match at Gateway Radio.  After the interview I spoke to Aston and he told me his story and how Anna had made a huge difference in not only his life but so many more. I instantly knew at that time I would get involved with Aston and Team Avery to organise a day for Anna Kennedy online at some point and I’m glad the time has finally come now. Aston is an amazing young man and it’s a pleasure to have got to know him and for him to share with me the amazing work of Anna Kennedy Online”

Announcing our new Ambassador – Siena Castellon

Announcing our new Ambassador – Siena Castellon

Anna Kennedy Online are proud to announce our new Ambassador Siena Castellon.

Siena Castellon is a 16 year old neurodiversity advocate and anti-bullying campaigner. She is autistic, dyslexic and dyspraxic. She also has ADHD. Siena is passionate about changing negative perceptions and stereotypes about autistic people and people with learning differences.

When Siena was 13 year old, she created a website – www.QLMentoring.com – to mentor and support autistic students and students with learning differences. She created the website, because she found that all the online resources were aimed at parents. 

On her website, Siena provides practical information and advice on how to overcome some of the academic and social challenges often faced by students with special educational needs.

Siena recently launched a school campaign – Neurodiversity Celebration Week – which aims to encourage schools to change perceptions about students with special educational needs by celebrating the strengths of their neurodiverse students and highlighting the advantages that come from interacting and perceiving the world differently.

Her campaign is supported by 16 major charities and organisations, including Anna Kennedy Online, the ADHD Foundation, the British Dyslexia Foundation, the Dyspraxia Foundation and the PDA Society. 

There are currently 40 schools participating, which amounts to over 35,000 students across the United Kingdom. Siena is currently writing a survival guide for autistic teen girls, which will be published in 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishing. Siena has won numerous awards for her neurodiversity advocacy and website, including the 2018 BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Award and the Diana Award.

In 2018, she was also bestowed with a British Citizen Youth Award, received a Points of Light Award from Prime Minister Theresa May and met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a private reception in their home at Kensington Palace.

Siena is a work placement at UCL’s Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE). She is currently working on a research study on perceptual capacity and anxiety in autistic individuals. She believes it is important for the autistic community to be involved in autism research so that the research is focused on addressing our needs and used to improve autism support services, rather than on finding a cure.

Siena also works as a peer outreach worker for the Mayor of London, which involves managing youth-focused events and working with organisations and charities to support young people in London on a broad range of issues, including disability services and support.

In 2018, Siena served on the Diana Award National Anti-bullying Youth Board, where she represented over 28,000 anti-bullying ambassadors throughout the United Kingdom. She used her time on the board to share her disability-related bullying experiences and raise awareness of disability hate crimes.

Siena is also passionate about maths and physics. Last summer, she studied theoretical physics at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and had a one-week work physics work placement at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory. Siena frequently gives talks about diversity in STEM, including to a Parliamentary group. Siena attends one of only two specialist maths state sixth forms in the United Kingdom.

Anna Kennedy OBE shares ‘We are proud that Siena is now going to be part of the AKO Team. I first met Siena at our Nation Autism Hero Awards 2 years ago and was impressed how much she had achieved at the age of 14 .

I am looking forward to working with Siena raising further awareness and acceptance of autistic children and adults.

Her first role with charity is speaking at The Autism Expo at Brunel University on Saturday 23rd March’ click here for details.

20 years go by in a flash whoosh!

20 years go by in a flash whoosh!

20 years ago this Saturday Anna Kennedy OBE picked up the keys to start her own school from Hillingdon Civic Centre and her story has been history ever since.

Anna’s two sons, Patrick, 28 and Angelo, 25, were both diagnosed with an autistic spectrum condition as young children. Anna’s sons were turned away from local mainstream schools, as they couldn’t cater for their individual needs. 

Both boys were finally offered just five hours of home tuition per week where Anna and her husband decided to turn their garage into a small classroom.

Anna decided something had to be done for her boys, with the help of her husband and supporters from the local community, she took on the challenge of setting up a school. 

Every book she read stressed the importance of early intervention and she was frustrated that nothing was available for her boys.   Anna relentlessly tried to raise funds and eventually decided to re-mortgaged their home too.

In 1999 Hillingdon Manor School finally opened its doors.

Starting out with 19 pupils. The school now teaches 175 pupils and is one of the largest school of its kind for children on the autism spectrum. 

Mrs Kennedy has since co founded a second school , a Vocational College, where her youngest son Angelo now attends and also is founder of a UK Autism Awareness charity that raises awareness and also creates opportunities for autistic children and adults in the performing arts world.

In recognition of her work Anna was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2012 for her services to special needs education and autism.

Her charity, Anna Kennedy Online, provides support and advice about autism-related issues to many parents , carers and promotes inclusion and equality for those with the condition. The charity provides various training workshops and also runs numerous awareness raising events throughout the year one of which is the world known ‘Autism’s Got Talent’ seen on BBC Breakfast, Sky News, RTL, Channel 5 news and more.

Anna Kennedy shares: ‘I cannot believe 20 years have gone by so quickly it has really been a roller coaster journey. I have had a crash course in absolutely everything. I want to continue to do what I have been doing for years, which is raising awareness with my team of volunteers and ensuring that people with autism are accepted for who they are. 

It’s so important that all of us who are involved with supporting those on the autism spectrum continue to fight hard and make our voices heard in improving educational and other resources for individuals, their families and carers.

Autistic children, adults and their families want to feel that they belong to their local communities just like everyone else. What keeps this from happening in many cases in my opinion is ‘ignorance’ and ‘fear’ of what is identified as being ‘different’. We need to question this prejudice and fear and to replace it with raising much better awareness and updated information. We will be celebrating the schools 20th milestone birthday later on this year.’

For more details on Hillingdon Manor: www.hillingdonmanorschool.org.uk

Anna Kennedy OBE
Director

Callum loves to Dance on stage!

Callum loves to Dance on stage!

Recently Heidi Kirrage mother of Callum was my guest at my regular ‘All Things Autism’ Women’s Radio Station programme which is to be aired very soon.Heidi shares with Autism Advocate Anna Kennedy OBE :

Callum is 11 years old and he was born in Russia. Callum lived the first part of his life in a Russian orphanage, he was finally adopted and came home to his family at age 1.  

Callum was always appeared different to other children and was extremely active. He had his own unique ways and life could be a real struggle for him. Callum was finally diagnosed with severe ADHD, Autism, Anxiety Disorder and OCD.

Primary school was very hard as he struggled to fit in, and he found it hard to socialise and keep up with others. He is now of secondary school age and currently out of education whilst his mum Heidi is trying to fight for the right specialist provision for Callum.

Callum has an absolute love of music and dance . This is how he expresses himself and dance is what makes him happy. He started a street dance class at age 5 and it just grew from there.  In 2015 he performed at the well known Autism’s got talent at Mermaid Theatre in London and that was  when his life changed. His confidence grew, he made friends and gained an absolute love of performing, since then he has performed at a further 2 autism’s got talent roadshow’s in Middlesex and Cornwall.

In 2016 through the UK Autism Charity Anna Kennedy online he was awarded a scholarship at Pineapple Performing Arts school every Sunday afternoon at Covent Garden where he takes part in 3 hours of dance.He absolutely loves it there and is just included and accepted for being himself. Callum has a motto – he says  ‘ADHD and Autism won’t stop me’. Callum makes Anti Bullying videos to try to help and inspire others. Callum’s dream is to be a dancer in the future and perform on stage or in music videos.