Autism Hero Awards – Bringing Autism Awareness to London

Last weekend I was fortunate to attend the Anna Kennedy Online Autism Hero Awards 2018  – one of those magical evenings in London. The annual Autism Awards is an opportunity to celebrate achievements in the autism community and raise awareness of autism. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was prepared to be inspired and motivated. The incredible evening certainly reminded me why I love what I do and why I am prepared to do anything to help my students on their journeys. 

Personal impact:

I have been working with children with autism after graduating from university 12 years ago. During my career as a behaviour and speech therapy assistant for the NHS, a qualified teacher, an international Learning Needs Director, and now the Director of SENsational Tutors Ltd., there has never been a dull moment.

As the saying goes, ‘children do not come with a manual’. I believe this may be even more so for children with autism. Finding the keys to unlock children’s individual potentials has become a lifelong mission for me.

My partner: 

Having worked in business and finance for 30+ years, Mike has had little opportunity to experience the warmth and love of the autism family. Tonight, at the Autism Hero Awards London, that was to change. Glancing slightly to the right to look at him during a rendition of ‘Say You Love Me, I could see the tears already starting to show. Mike reflected that,

“I was truly overwhelmed as I hadn’t really experienced meeting anyone with autism and was both so incredibly humbled and inspired by the people I met. The work being done developing autism awareness will hopefully show the rest of the population not just what we need to do to support these amazing people, but also how incredible both the individuals and the autism community are, and what valuable assets both are to our society.”

We had autism heroes sitting with us on table 9!

What a proud moment. These were:

  1. Sibling of the Year Award – Sarah Yasini (video here), for being an incredible sister to her autistic brother. She travelled all the way from Canada
  2. Top Journalism Award – Steve Downes – raises awareness of autism in Croydon
  3. Outstanding Community Award – Libby Hill and Steve Whitmore (joint)
  4. Entrepreneurial Award – Oliver Wendt PHD – SPEAKall App to help communication, speech, language, and social skills development


Oliver has been generous enough to offer me 5 FREE trial licences of his SPEAKall App for families that are registered with SENsational Tutors Ltd.

Simply register here and email me directly if you are interested.

Here’s the list of the other incredible people who have won the awards tonight: The autism heroes continued…
  • Online Social Network Award – Chris Bonello, Autistic Not Weird.com (video here)
  • Leading Business Award – Toby Gorniak
  • Outstanding Education Award – Melanie Whitfield
  • Creative Arts and Media Award – Kathryn Tonkiss
  • Lifetime Achiever Award – Lesley Fisher
  • Peoples Autism Hero Award – Vicki Taylor
  • Parent/Carer Award – Rebecca Taylor
  • Personal Achievement Award- Dr. Mickey Mayhew – diagnosed autistic and risen from being told he was worthless by his school to completing an undergraduate degree and three masters’ degrees
  • Special Recognition Award – Paula McGowan #JusticeforOliver – a mother campaigning hard for learning disability training for NHS staff in memory of her son Oliver
  • Charity Volunteer of the Year – Adrijana Owen

Congratulations also to Haringey Shed, an inclusive theatre company in N17, London. I have heard amazing things about them! Highly recommended!

Also a shout-out to Weird Triangle, who I am looking forward to collaborating with soon to bring more awareness of autismKeep up to date with SENsational Tutors Ltd.’s news, future collaborations and events here


Joanna Gibbs, (PGCE, QTS, B.A. (Hons), M.Ed.), is director of SENsational Tutors Ltd., a specialist autism and special needs tuition agency that matches qualified and highly-trained teachers/ professionals to your child in London. They specialise in providing tailor-made, play-based and fun 1:1 tuition, communication/behaviour packages in London, for all children and young adults aged 3-25.

Their priority is to build confidence and to inspire a lifelong love of learning.

Register here for free to be part of their mailing list, to win prizes, and to be the first to know about free autism workshops and events in London.





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