Anna Kennedy OBE / Presenter
Anna Kennedy OBE shows
Living With Autism
Anna’s two sons, Patrick, 25 and Angelo, 22, were both diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders as young children.
The severity of their conditions meant that they were turned away from 26 local mainstream schools, as they couldn’t cater for their individual needs. Both boys were finally offered just five hours of home tuition per week.
Anna decided something had to be done for her boys, and with the help of her husband Sean, took on the challenge setting up a school themselves. They relentlessly fundraised and re-mortgaged their home to raise £627,000 needed, and in 1999 The Hillingdon Manor School finally opened its doors. Starting out with 19 pupils the school now teaches 150, and is the largest school of its kind for autistic children in Europe.
Anna has since set up another specialist school, an autism awareness charity and a respite home for adults. She provided training for the NSPCC and Childline and also runs various other fundraising and awareness events throughout the year.