VIDEO: Mums affected by autism unite for International Women’s Day
CAMPAIGNER Anna Kennedy has filmed an emotional video with mothers of autistic children to empower and support others to mark International Women’s Day.
“We are strong and we are united and we are an army of mums who are fighting for our kids on the autism spectrum,” said Anna, founder of leading charity Anna Kennedy Online in the eight minute long film which includes compelling interviews with women who talk honestly about their daily struggles as well as their inspirational achievements.
“We wanted to create a video that focuses on these professional achievements, and show how autism and their children have changed and inspired their lives. These women inspire me everyday, and I wanted to transfer this inspiration to other people,” explained Anna, from Middlesbrough, who re-mortgaged her own house so she could set up a school for autistic children after her own two sons, Patrick and Angelo were turned away from mainstream education when they were young.
In 1999 The Hillingdon Manor School near London where Anna and her family live, finally opened its doors. Starting out with 19 pupils it is now 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 last year and starred in the first Strictly for Comic Relief on BBC1.
Titled ‘Inspiring Women, Inspiring Change’, the video also features Samantha Tomlin, founder of Classic Models, Dawn Avery, financial director to six companies, Joanne Wiggins, single mum of two and Active Charity Champion and Mala Thapar, Active charity champion and event organiser.
The soundtrack has a song music artist Tiger Lilly, who wrote the song ‘Woman’ specifically for the video and Anna Kennedy Online charity.
To celebrate International Women’s Day and the heartfelt video, Hardrock Café London will be hosting a Live Women in Music event on March 11 with 10 per cent of ticket sales donated to Anna Kennedy Online.
Anna, who is asking people to tweet her @AnnaKennedy1 with pledges of support for women all over the world living with autism, added: “Our video is helping to spread an honest message about living with autism. It is allowing us to expand out outreach, raise awareness and continue to support more and more families on a global scale.”