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Sheffield Hallam autism lecturer announced as charity patron

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A Sheffield Hallam University lecturer has been announced as a patron of national autism charity Anna Kennedy Online.

Dr Luke Beardon, who works in Sheffield Hallam's Autism Centre, has been a professional in the field of autism and Asperger syndrome for more than 20 years.

In 2016, Dr Beardon was recognised for his exceptional work in the field as he won two awards at the inaugural UK Autism Hero Awards and was subsequently invited to become a patron of the Anna Kennedy Online charity.

The charity was founded in 2012 by Anna Kennedy to support and share information with families affected by autism. Anna has since been awarded an OBE for her charitable work.

This week (27 March - 2 April) is World Autism Awareness Week.

Anna Kennedy OBE said: "Dr Beardon was one of the first speakers I listened to when my boys were alot younger. I could tellhisfeet were firmly on the ground and he knewhis stuff.

"I felt relaxed and his talk did not go over my head as a parent of two young boys on the spectrum who was hungry for information. We at AnnaKennedyOnline are proud and excited to have Luke as one of our charity patrons."

Dr Luke Beardon and Anna Kennedy OBE
Dr Beardon with his Autism Hero awards

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Dr Beardon said "Anna and her teamdo such an extraordinary job to promote the successes of autistic people, to push society in the right directionandto increase autism understanding.

"I was blown away by the invite and am truly honoured to be a patronof Anna Kennedy Online and will do all I can to support them in my new role."

For press information: Please contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email