Kent based Dr Sandra Beale-Ellis, has been chosen by Prime Minister Theresa May to receive the 765th Points of Light award for her campaigning to get autistic children involved in sports and recreation activities.
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. The Points of Light award is a small thank you on behalf of the whole country, in recognition of your exceptional service.’
Beale-Ellis, clinically diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, during her study for a Doctorate in Education (Autism) at Sheffield Hallam University, just a few years ago; then researching the learning experiences of young autistic individuals in sports and recreation activities. This followed many years of teaching karate and dance, specialising in students with medical, neurological, emotional and social differences; a passion which was the result of childhood cancer and arthritis.
Her local MP, Sir Roger Gale, said of the news: ‘I am absolutely delighted to hear that Sandra is to be a recipient of the Prime Minister’s prestigious Points of Light Awards; only those working with autism regularly can truly understand the level of dedication and determination required and Sandra richly deserves this recognition of her voluntary commitment.’