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Anna Kennedy OBE
Anna Kennedy is the mother of two boys, Patrick and Angelo, who are both affected by autism. In 1997, in response to the growing need for support for parents of children with autism Anna co founded the registered charity Hillingdon Care and Support (HACS). Two years later in 1999 having been turned away by no fewer than 26 special needs schools when searching for appropriate educational facilities for her sons she remortgaged her home and transformed a derelict council building in Middlesex, West London into Hillingdon Manor School. The school, which is now a centre of excellence, has earned considerable recognition for its outstanding work, and caught the imagination of Esther Rantzen who is now its patron.Since then Anna has opened a College for adults with autism, residential home, outreach support for children and adults
In 2008 Anna co-authored her best selling biography “Not Stupid” which poignantly portrayed her struggle to find appropriate provision for her boys – a story which will be familiar to many parents who feel they could not get what they felt their children needed from the local education authority.
Anna’s story appeared as an hour long BBC ’pick of the day’ Video Diary documentary and her story has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Times Educational Supplement, The Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail.
Anna is regularly invited to speak at conferences on the subject of Autism and has also taken part in numerous TV talk shows and news programmes. In 2009 she won ‘Woman of the Year’ an award run in conjunction with The Observer newspaper and Smooth Radio and has recently been named Tesco Mum of the Year 2013 Winner of Daily Mail Inspirational Women Award 2010 and now officially awarded an OBE.
Website - www.annakennedyonline.com