Last Saturday 9th November at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London, the UK autism charity Anna Kennedy Online hosted their fourth ‘Autism Hero Awards 2019‘. Winners were chosen by a panel of prominent judges who were Dr Chris Papadopoulos, Kacey Ainsworth, Glen Knight, Jo Luck, Chris Bonnello, Frank Khalid, and Marianna Dean.
The winners were all presented with their awards by sponsors, celebrities Kacey Ainsworth, Danielle Mason, Dr Pam Spurr, 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 150 individuals and groups who were nominated.
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. It was a privilege to be in a room full of heroes.’
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 and entertainment to celebrate every finalist.
Pineapple Performing Arts opened the evening with an outstanding dance routine. There were exclusives artists including Daniel Doherty, Macauley Elvin, and Liam Burgess who were all performers at Autism’s Got Talent and once again received standing ovations.
Ambassador to the charity and actress Kacey Ainsworth shared: ‘Anna Kennedy is awesome. Thank you for allowing me to be an ambassador for your charity; it enriches my life. You do such fantastic work!’
The charity would like to congratulate all the winners of the Autism Hero Awards 2019.
- Charity Volunteer of the Year – Coral Kennedy
- Creative Arts and Media Award – Noah Loo
- Entrepreneurial Award – Rebecca Taylor
- Leading Business Award – Portland College
- Lifetime Achiever Award – Tanya Philips
- Online Social Network Award – Laura Price
- Outstanding Community Award – Jane Lord
- Outstanding Education Award – Joel Mellor
- Parent/Carer Award – Kenny Elvin
- Peoples Autism Hero Award – Richie Smith
- Personal Achievement Award – Charlotte Banfield
- Sibling of the Year Award – Seray Marius
- Special Recognition Award – Leo Andrade
- Young Person of the Year Award – Jayden Worthington and Morgan Smith
Rosie Weldon, one of the guests at the event, shared: ‘Autism is lonely. Being autistic is waking up to fight through another day, every day. It’s having a meltdown and picking yourself back up to face the world again. It’s being offered tissues by strangers as you try to drill through. The Autism Hero Awards showed me just how many people are in our corner. Fighting beside us, with us, for us. Fighting every day is hard. Knowing there are so many people in our corner, is overwhelmingly heart-warming.
‘To thank Anna Kennedy Online for everything they do, to be in their corner, as they are in ours, I would love to raise some donations for them. They are a small charity that depends on donations. Donate to Anna Kennedy Online, any amount, to say thank you to them and all those who are in our corner – the corner of autistic people and their families. I would love to hit the target of £100. And to everyone who is fighting for us, with us, beside us, or if you are one of us: I know it’s hard. Let’s support each other and keep going.’
Nominations for 2020 will be open again soon so sign up to the AKO’s newsletter for updates on their work and future events.