Anna Kennedy Online – Wear it for Autism 2014

Anna Kennedy OBE,

Anna Kennedy OBE, photo credit So Shoot Me Photography

Wear it for Autism – founded by Anna Kennedy OBE, of the charity Anna Kennedy Online took place on Oct. 6 at the Millennium Hotel, Knightsbridge. This event was a celebration of individuals who care for someone on the autistic spectrum, or who themselves are on the spectrum. All winners had been nominated.

This event was a celebration that presented fantastic opportunities to families and those individuals affected by autism.

Wear it for Autism was supported by Models of Diversity, My A Dress Book, Bon Prix, Living Autism and Pineapple Performing Arts. During the evening all winners took place in a catwalk show, with all  outfits and dresses donated by several clothing brands including Damsel in a Dress and jewellery by Miglio.

Models of Diversity can be viewed below.

The winners were:

Mums : Ann Wright, Sharon King, Maimuna Mutaasa and Lisa Embery-Donaghy

Dads : Craig Binns and Lee Cook

Grandparent : Sandra Trotter

Family : Anne & Steven Rann

Adult with Autism : Dani Bowman

Child with Autism : Sophie Jayne Garner

Young Carers : Demi Stamp and Emma Bell

Anna Kennedy OBE said of the event:

“The idea behind Wear It For Autism was to spoil those who usually never get a chance to treat – or even think – of themselves. Living with autism can be challenging and extremely demanding so we wanted to create a special event, that would be fun for all involved’

Steven Smith, image taken from Anna Kennedy Online

Steven Smith, image taken from Anna Kennedy Online

Author Steven Smith, who had been one of the judges, was also announced as the new patron of Anna Kennedy Online. He told Autism Daily Newscast:

“Having been a judge for ” Wear if for Autism ” I understand the often horrific bullying in society of young people with Autism and the discrimination they face in life. I wanted to make a difference. Meeting the truly remarkable Anna Kennedy OBE inspired me to come on board . I hope to bring my skills to the table and help make a difference. I hope we could live in a society that holds out a hand to help others not judge but have empathy for other and if I can make a difference to Anna Kennedy Online I will be a happy man. “

Craig Binns,

Craig Binns, photo credit So Shoot Me Photography

Craig Binns who won the best Dad category told us:

” I was truly overwhelmed to be a winner in the Wear it for Autism competition. I was nominated by Karen for the help i give her and her daughter, who are both on the spectrum, and the work on the Artists of Autism exhibition which we aim to be bringing back next year. I felt honoured and amazingly humbled to be amongst the other winners who were all so deserving of their award.”

Karen McGuire, of So Shoot Me Photography and Craig’s partner told:

” it was nice to see all the deserving winners at Wear it for Autism and I hope it will have raised the profile of Anna Kennedy Online so they can do more good works for autism. I was immensely proud of Craig.”

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Maimuna Mutaasa with Anna Kennedy, photo credit So Shoot Me Photography

Maimuna Mutaasa who won in the best mum category told us of her experience:

“it was the best experience of my life especially meeting those incredible, tireless mothers, kids ,dads and grandparents of people with autism.”

She goes on to say:

“autism is a journey that never ends,you just have to be patient and walk on..our kids go through a lot and we have to stay in the same boat with them and find our own happiness in a time of sadness.”

Model, Sam Tomlin with Emma

Model, Sam Tomlin with Emma, photo credit So Shoot Me Photography

Emma Bell was one of the winners from the Young Carer category, her mother had this message:

“Emma and I would like to thank the Anna Kennedy team for such a fabulous day on Monday! The whole experience was above even our wildestexpectations. It was so lovely for Emma and I to have some mummy/daughter time as it’s never usually possible! Everyone was so lovely and Emma’s confidence and self-esteem had a much needed major boost. She has been a different girl since we got home. We can’t thank you enough”

young winners WIFA

young winners, photo credit So Shoot Me Photography

Celebrities who were involved in the event included: Amy Willerton, George Gilby, Mitch Winehouse, Arlene Phillips,Keith Mason,Dr Pam Spurr, Steven King and Nicola Duffet which was a true high light of the evening. Other celebrities in attendance included Lydia Lucy, Olivia Cox and many others.

To read more about the event please visit the Anna Kennedy Online website here

 Steven Smith’s website can be found at www.stevenswords.co.uk His book, It Shouldn’t Happen to a Hairdresser: Celebrity Tales from My Crimping Days, can be found here