Bedwas teen raises £25k for autism cause

Campaign Series: AUTISM FUNDRAISER: Bedwas teen Holly Salmon AUTISM FUNDRAISER: Bedwas teen Holly Salmon

A 14-YEAR-OLD autism sufferer from Bedwas has now raised £25,000 to help sufferers and has just held a successful ball recognising people with the condition.

The Campaign reported in April how brave Holly Salmon, who has severe anxiety and low self-steem because of her autism – tackled her conditions head on and welcomed 354 guests to her first Autism Heroes Awards.

In total, there were 80 entrants in three categories that recognised outstanding achievement by sufferers and people who work with autistic children.

These were nominated and then subject to an online vote, where 700 people voted for those they thought most deserving of being recognised.

While Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni pupil Holly has held a ball for the last two years, this was the first time she’d organised an awards ceremony.

The event, at Cardiff’s Holland House Hotel, raised more than £7,000 on the night – which will be split between Autism Cymru, National Autistic Society Cymru and various support groups.

During her speech Holly said she: “I’m delighted to see my dream become a reality.”

She now hopes the awards will continue on an annual basis.

In the past three years Holly Ball has raised £25,000.

There are an estimated 3,000 autism sufferers in Wales, which equates to one in 100 people. Visit www.autismheroesawards.co.uk for information.

Teen made a difference

Geraint Jones Griffiths, 16, of Markham, came second in the outstanding personal achievement category.

He stood for election on Caerphilly Youth Forum as the environment representative.

He was voted in and helped implement a number of measures including the banning of smoking in all children’s play areas in the borough.

There were two categories in total and a lifetime achievement award, with Kerrie Pritchard, of Ashgrove School, Penarth, winning the Extra Mile award for her work with children on the autism spectrum.

Outstanding personal achievement went to Asperger’s, dyslexia, dyspraxia and scoliosis sufferer Tim Clarke, for not letting his condition stand in his way.

The reverend doctor John Gillibrand won the lifetime achievement award for helping to set up the cross-party autism group on the National Assembly for Wales.

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