Autism Campaigner

765. Sandra Beale-Ellis (Kent)

Dr Sandra Beale-Ellis, from Herne Bay, educates instructors, gives lectures, and works directly with children to encourage participation and inclusion.

Sandra campaigns across the UK to encourage more children with autism to get involved in sports and recreation activities, such as martial arts and dance. Sandra has a Doctorate in Education relating to the learning methods of autistic people and was diagnosed with autism as an adult, which inspired her to use her experiences to promote greater inclusion, with a specific focus on getting children involved in karate and other sports. Over the years, she has reached thousands of individuals through her training, lectures, books, blog and support groups.

In a personal letter to Sandra, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Through your campaigning, you have encouraged thousands of children with autism to get involved in sports and recreation activities outside of the classroom. You have used your own experiences to promote greater inclusion for the next generation, and you should be proud of what you have achieved.”

Sandra’s local Member of Parliament, Sir Roger Gale MP, said:

“I am very pleased that the tireless work of Dr Sandra Beale-Ellis in the field of research into autism has been recognised with a Points of Light award.  Autism is a condition that affects, in one form or another, a frightening number of our constituents and it is the dedication of those like Dr Beale-Ellis that will hopefully in the near future deliver a better understanding and procedures for the management of the condition.”

Sandra said:

“I was in shock when I found out I had won a Points of Light Award; it is such an honour to be recognised by the Prime Minister for my autism work.  Many years after I started to teach autistic children, and during a doctorate in education, I was diagnosed myself. I felt proud to be a part of the community I had worked with for so long. My long run of childhood illnesses including cancer, were all factors in my continued passion for helping others.  Now my work continues to develop so that autistic individuals of all ages can use their ‘voice’ and their skills; raising much needed awareness of our unique characters and how we can contribute to society.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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