Award for one of Berkshire Autistic Society’s founders

Leslie Macdonald, one of the founders of the Berkshire Autistic Society, now known as Autism Berkshire, won the Community Champion title in the 2016 Pride of Reading Awards on Friday.

Leslie, who is now the chair of trustees at Reading Mencap, was one of a group of parents who formed what became BAS in 1990, to support families and children living with autism and challenging behaviours.

She also worked at schools in Reading and Wokingham, helping pupils with autism and Asperger syndrome, before retiring in 2006.

Reading Mencap trustee Mark Anthony Lawrence told the GetReading website: “Her commitment to the voluntary sector in Reading is phenomenal. As chair of Reading Mencap, Leslie has secured the charity’s future through hard work and dedication to its service users.

“And her investment in autism locally is outstanding.”

The School of the Year award went to Holy Brook School, in Southcote, which educates children with special educational needs and social, emotional and mental health conditions. Many of the pupils have autism spectrum conditions.

Click here to read more about Leslie MacDonald, Holy Brook School and the other 2016 Pride of Reading Awards winners.

Among the other nominees for awards were autism campaigner and former Autism Berkshire trustee Carly Jones, the Camp Mohawk activity centre for children and teenagers with special needs at Wargrave, and the Snowflake Centre team at New Bridge Nursery School, in Caversham. The centre is a specialist unit helping children with autism.