Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ambassador media stars!

May has been a bumper month for Ambassadors, who have turned media stars to help us raise our voice during our 50th birthday month.

We’ve seen you on our TV screens, heard you on the radio and read all about you on the pages of national and local newspapers!

Thanks to everyone who took part – it would simply not have been possible to make the impact we have without you!

As we prepared to publish the results of our 50th birthday report, “The way we are: Autism in 2012”, we wanted to tell as many journalists as possible all about our findings.

Kicking things off, Ambassador Valerie went for the double-whammy, talking to The Independent and BBC London 94.9 about her experiences of workplace bullying. The story went on to hit the airwaves nationally on BBC Radio 5Live.

The media frenzy didn’t hold up through the week, with outlets including, The Observer, The Sunday Mirror, Radio 4 Women’s Hour, the Guardian and many more covering a range of autism topics arising our 50th birthday report: from diagnosis to employment to what it’s like to care for someone with autism.

On Sunday, Ambassador Deborah and her son, Charlie, hit the TV screens on Sky Sunrise, after a crew from the show went to Charlie’s school to film him talking about his experiences of bullying. The story went on to be picked up locally, with mentions in the news bulletins of local radio stations the length of the country, including LBC 97.3, Heart Wiltshire, Magic London, Hallam FM and many more. The story was also covered online, so why not have a read in Children & Young People Now.

The amazing contributions of our Ambassadors weren’t limited to talking about our 50th birthday though, and May saw a host of Ambassadors doing their bit to raise awareness in different ways.

NAS Northern Ireland Ambassador, Sharon, kicked off May’s coverage by talking to The Belfast Telegraph about life with her son, who has autism.

Ambassador Tessa, and her son Nick, went on to hit the headlines with a heart-warming story about the family Corgi, Sally, who has helped Nick overcome his fear of going to school and leaving the house. Tessa, Nick and Sally appeared on their local ITV news and went on to share their story with The Sun, The Mail Online, Huffington Post and Yorkshire Post…. We’ve got a feeling it’s not the last we’ll see on Sally, Nick and Tessa!

As the month went on, we saw big headlines for Ambassador, Sophie, who spoke to Channel 4 News and on the BBC News Channel about the impact that proposed reforms to the Special Educational Needs (SEN) system could have for young people with autism in school, including her daughter, Grace.

Finally, Sarah Hewitt, Ambassador, got involved by talking to The Times’ Weekend Supplement about being a career woman with Asperger syndrome. She doubled up her media presence, when she made an appearance on ITV1’s Lorraine programme, where she talked about the same themes.

Phew… what a month it’s been.

Thanks so much to all of you who took part to help us celebrate our birthday. Thanks also to the many, many Ambassadors and Champions who got in touch to share your stories. It’s a shame we couldn’t use them all in the media this month, but it is really important that we hear from as many of you as possible, so please keep telling us what you’re up to and what you want to talk about.

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