‘Charity Champion’ shortlisted for national award for helping families with autistic children

Anne Ross. Picture: ADD-Vance

Anne Ross. Picture: ADD-Vance - Credit: Archant

A St Albans ‘charity champion’ has been nominated for a national award for her work helping families of children with ADHD and autism.

The 20th annivesary of ADD-Vance. Picture: ADD-Vance

The 20th annivesary of ADD-Vance. Picture: ADD-Vance - Credit: Archant

Anne Ross set up the St Albans-based charity ADD-Vance in 1996, and since then the charity has expanded to support families of children affected by ADHD, autism and related conditions across Hertfordshire by offering training, coaching, support groups, a helpline and Facebook groups.

A local parent nominated Anne anonymously for a Lifetime Achiever Award at the National Diversity Awards, which will be held in Liverpool on Friday, September 14. After the initial nomination, hundreds of other parents voted for Anne in recognition of the difference she has made to their families.

Anne was also honoured with the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, in recognition of her service to families of young people with special needs.

Speaking about her nomination for the Diversity Award, Anne said: “I am so thrilled and honoured to have been shortlisted for this award and would like to thank everyone who voted for me to get this far.

“Over 20 years ago I started ADD-Vance out of my own back room. Today it is a county-wide organisation offering help to thousands of families every year.

“I couldn’t have done any of this without the support of my own family and the wonderful team of staff and volunteers that made the charity’s efforts possible. Thank you so much!”

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As part of the nomination process, members of the public were asked to leave quotes explaining why they voted for Anne.

One of the anonymous comments said: “Anne Ross is a lady who has the admiration of many. She started the charity ADD-Vance ADHD and Autism Trust over 20 years ago from a telephone line at her house.

“The charity has grown and supports families across Hertfordshire, provides coaching, training, support groups and a telephone support line. At a time when it may feel like your family is falling apart the ADD-Vance team offer help, support and an understanding ear. Anne Ross has created this amazing charity and she has campaigned tirelessly for support, change, education and understanding, amongst parents and professionals.”