Search

Councillor Mandy Garford nominated for Most Inspirational Volunteer of the Year

PUBLISHED: 16:17 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 26 January 2018

Mandy Garford, chairperson of the National Autistic Society for Dartford and Gravesham, is delighted to have been nominated for the Most Inspirational Volunteer of the Year.

Shortlisted from a field of 200, Ms Garford is one of the final three volunteers in the running for the prestigious national award.

A qualified teacher who specialises in challenging behavior, she is also the mother of three children on the autistic spectrum.

The society she chairs supports children and adults affected by autism, as well as their families.

She said: “When I first received the news that I had been nominated and then shortlisted I couldn’t believe it!

“I am primarily a mum with autistic children, helping others with autistic children.

“After waiting for years for an assessment you are finally given a diagnosis and a leaflet.

“I thought ‘that can’t be it’ and from that point I have been determined to help and support others trying to find their way in the world of autism.”

Last year, for World Autism Awareness Week, Ms Garford invited all children on the autistic spectrum from schools across Dartford to submit work to be displayed at an art exhibition.

This year, she has invited all Gravesham schools to participate in ‘Art of Autism 2’, involving St Andrew’s Art Exhibition Centre, the historic light ship LV21 on the River Thames and Gravesham Arts’ sponsored artist of the year, Matt McCloud.

Ms Garford also runs an autism café every week, and is locally considered a ‘one stop shop for autism’, supporting Early Help, local businesses and schools, speaking to members of the community and responding to countless emails from people all over the South East.

During Autism Hour, a national campaign in which shops organise 60 minutes of simple steps to help create a more autism-friendly world, Ms Garford and members of the team spoke to staff at Bluewater Shopping Centre.

On top of this, she is on the committee for the Multi Agency Autism Group that locally hold information talks from experts once a month for parents, carers and professionals.

Ms Garford is also a local councillor, and attends the All Party Parliamentary Group for Autism.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Gravesend Reporter visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Gravesend Reporter staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Gravesend Reporter account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Fri, 16:36

Gravesham fireworks display is to be postponed for fear of disturbing the whale who has taken up home in the Thames in Gravesend.

Fri, 12:49

Jamie Brown of Archant Local Impact explains how you can build brand awareness.

Fri, 11:25

The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed it is investigating after a worker at a Northfleet factory was seriously injured in an industrial accident early yesterday morning (Thursday, October 18).

Fri, 07:00

Following the incredible sell-out stage success of Not Dead Enough, The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple, the number one best-selling author Peter James is back with a spine-tingling new world premiere play, The House On Cold Hill, coming to the Orchard Theatre in January.

Thu, 07:00

Kent’s NHS services will receive more than £6million of extra funding this winter to help alleviate growing pressures on our hospitals, the Department for Health announced yesterday (Wednesday, October 17).

Most read

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Gravesend Reporter twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24