Special Awards Recipients:
Anna Kennedy OBE – Best Humanitarian Award 2016
Joshua Kane – Best Designer 2016
Atiha Sen Gupta – Best Playwright 2016
John Bryne – Best Contribution to Arts & Diversity 2016
Khali Best – Youngest Achievement Award Film & Television 2016
Moelogo – Best UK-Afrobeat Artist 2016
Jermain Jackman – Inspirational Music Artist of The Year 2016
Racquel Smith – Best Fashion Model 2016
Bmystireo – Best Emerging African Artist
Sarah Jagger – Best Makeup Artist 2016
Carmel Britto – Outstanding Contribution to Youth Development
A MUM from Middlesbrough has won fresh recognition for her pioneering support for children with autism.
Anna Kennedy won the Best Humanitarian Award 2016 at the third International Achievement Recognition Awards for her work, including co-founding the UK’s largest school for autistic children.
Anna, 55, said: “I was honoured to receive this award and accepted it for all the families of children with autism.
“I got an OBE in 2012 and got a lot of congratulations but now my social media has blown up with people saying well done and thank you for speaking for us”.
The awards highlight people and businesses who demonstrate “excellence and innovation in their respective industries”.
In 1999, Anna and her husband Sean started the Hillingdon Manor School in Uxbridge after her sons Patrick, now 26, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and Angelo, now 22, who has autism were denied mainstream education. It now has more than 190 pupils.
Anna, who is from Longlands, has since set-up a community college, an adult respite home and another school in Kent.
She is the chairwoman of Anna Kennedy Online, a charity which raises autism awareness with events throughout the year.
It is planning its own Autism Hero Awards on October 1 and a few “secret projects”.
Anna is also a patron of Daisy Chain, the Norton-based charity which supports families affected by autism.
As well as an OBE, Anna has been named Action Network Woman of the Year and Tesco Mum of the Year, and received an honorary doctorate of Professional Studies from Teesside University. In 2015 she took part in The People’s Strictly which she described as “amazing. I definitely lived in the Strictly bubble”.
Anna’s advice for anyone living with autism is “I know it’s hard but my motto is you can give up you can give in or you can give it all you’ve got and then some. People who never give in usually get what they want”.