This week Tesco have been announcing the winners of the Tesco Mum of the Year awards.
Anna Kennedy, like many mums, hasn’t had things easy. When her two sons, Patrick, now 23, and Angelo, 19, where first diagnosed with autism, Anna was told that they were the only children in the area with the condition. Can you imagine how isolating that must have felt? At a time when more than anything you need the support of other local parents in the same situation, you discover that there are none.
Some women might just resign themselves to managing alone and get on with things, but not Anna. Convinced she wasn’t really alone, Anna set up a support group in her own home. People started coming, and coming…
Very soon Anna had 275 families signed up to her group, and when her sons were later turned away by 25 mainstream schools, Anna took it one step further, remortgaging her own house and setting up a school for autistic children.
That’s commitment right?
It didn’t stop there though.
(Are you feeling inadequate yet?)
In 2001 Anna set up a community college. Then in 2004 a respite home for adults and in 2011 a second specialist school in Kent. Anna’s website – Anna Kennedy Online – now has an international following of 50,00 parents of autistic children.
(Seriously, you almost want to hate her for being so awesome.)
Oh and she has written a book.
And released a fundraising fitness DVD.
And got awarded an OBE.
It’s amazing women like Anna that show us just how much potential there is for us, even as individuals, so make a positive change in our own lives and the lives of others. Never underestimate the difference you can make.