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Ambitious about Autism Youth Patron Josie Ryan has won a Try Angle Award from Medway Youth Parliament for raising autism awareness in the media.
Josie was awarded the Positive Media Image award at a ceremony on Thursday 5 July in Central Theatre, Chatham. She was nominated for the award following an article in the Medway Messenger about when she spoke at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism SEN Commission in the House of Commons in March about her experiences.
Josie Ryan said: “I didn’t think I was going to win, I thought it was the girl next to me who’d done lots of stuff for cancer. When they called out my name I couldn’t stop shaking. The Mayor of Medway gave me the award and it was exciting and scary, all at the same time.
Winning the award means everything I’ve done for Ambitious about Autism, like talking to the APPGA, has been recognised and people are listening. It’s really good and that makes me very happy.”
Claire Ryan, Josie’s mother and also a Parent Patron for Ambitious about Autism, attended the ceremony with the rest of their family.
She said: “I felt so great when Josie won, a great big bundle of proud! We all went along to support her and her sister Hollie cried with happiness. What touched me the most about her winning is that other young people recognise that it’s a big deal that Josie spoke to MPs. It shows she’s being listened to and has a powerful story to tell about what life is life with autism, especially in the education system.”
Mark Atkinson, Director of Communications, Policy and Research, said: “Everyone at Ambitious about Autism is delighted Josie has won an award for all the excellent work she does to help us raise autism awareness. We are really proud of what she’s achieved.”