The Patrons

We are passionate about changing perceptions about Autism and raising awareness. Our Charity Patrons work hard to help us spread the word and are passionate about helping with our mission. Our Patrons are valuable and dedicate time and commitment to raising funds and Autism awareness. Below are details about our patrons and why we are so lucky to have these extraordinary individuals as part of the team.

Kacey Ainsworth
Kacey Ainsworth

Charity Patron

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 CBBC’s The Worst Witch. She can currently be seen in ITV’s 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.

Lauren Russell
Lauren Russell

Charity Patron

Our Patron Lauren has Aspergers. Her love of music and drama has always given her an outlet, and she thrives on the excitement of performing, whether it’s playing guitar or the many shows that she’s appeared in.

She took part in Autism’s Got Talent in 2015 where she made wonderful new friends. It was also the start of a wonderful year, where Lauren had the opportunity to get involved with some great fundraising/awareness events.

In 2016 Lauren received the Diana Award for her volunteering, ambassadorship and empowering other young people to change their lives, communities and families through Anna Kennedy Online. Lauren creates all the highlight and video captions for all the Charity events and looks after the Charity’s YouTube Channel: Click here for more details.

Lauren is extremely proud and an incredible patron for Anna Kennedy Online and appears on the TV frequently, she was selected to appear in the film ‘The Diary’ and continues to win awards through her outstanding skills and being an incredible role model.

Steven Smith
Steven Smith

Charity Patron

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.

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. https://asksteve2cu.blogspot.co.uk/

Jo Luck
Jo Luck

Charity Patron

We are very proud of Jo Luck 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

James Hobley
James Hobley

Charity Patron

Dancer James Hobley, a previous finalist in Britain’s Got Talent became our first Young Patron for Anna Kennedy Online. We are so proud to see how much he has achieved in such a short time and he won a place at 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.