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Today my guests on Women’s Radio Station were Jenny Jackson and Annie Sands who both work for Autism Anglia. Anna recently was asked to be an ambassador for the charity.
Jenny is a mother of three children, two of whom are on the autistic spectrum. Six years ago, she had a change of career from a senior IT manager to become a volunteer, training as a facilitator to set up a parent support group for parents of children with additional needs.
Soon after, she was employed by the charity InterAct as a youth worker for teenagers with disabilities, and then trained to be an independent supporter for families and individuals, assisting with the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
She now work for Autism Anglia as the Senior Autism Education Adviser, as part of the Autism Advice Service, while continuing to do a small amount of youth work since she enjoys it so much.
Annie shares she is a single parent, mum to two young men with autism and learning difficulties. The oldest Alexander has been sectioned and has a history of psychosis. He went into supported accommodation, where he was abused, resulting in a severe attack which left him fighting for his life.
Sebastian is now living life as a Benedictine monk in Abergavenny. It has been a difficult road supporting him with his calling. Annie was invited to Lambeth Palace to take part in a disability inclusion workshop – churches shouldn’t be about inclusion but belonging. She now works for Autism Anglia as a Senior Welfare Rights Adviser.
Annie and Jenny during their interview spoke about autism and their life as mothers of children with autism and their work as professionals.
They described what makes Autism Anglia special is that its ethos and passion to make a difference, campaigning where appropriate such as homelessness. They spoke about how the charity continue their fundraising to enable the advice team which provides invaluable support and information for all ages.
Both Jenny and Annie said: ‘It was lovely to chat to Anna on Women’s Radio Station, who clearly shares our same passions. ‘
The interview will be repeated everyday online at 1pm this week.
Dr Anna Kennedy, OBE is an educator who has worked to provide an improved education and other facilities for children with autism spectrum disorders.
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