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Autism Jersey "supermum" shortlisted for UK mag award

Autism Jersey

Tuesday 06 July 2021

Autism Jersey "supermum" shortlisted for UK mag award


A local “supermum”, who swam the Channel to fund a bursary for autistic islanders, and who manages Autism Jersey’s shop, has been shortlisted for an ‘Amazing Woman’ award by a top UK magazine.

Karen Gallichan (52) is one of 15 finalists in Woman & Home's Amazing Women Awards 2021.

The annual awards are presented to women over 50 “who are making a difference in all walks of life."

Autism Jersey's Vice Chair, Dr Helen Miles, put Karen’s name forward for the award, praising the work the mum-of-two has done for the charity since joining when her son, now 22, was diagnosed with autism.

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Pictured: Karen Gallichan manages the Autism Jersey shop with Catherine Tubb.

Over the years, she has taken part in several fundraising initiatives, including a “brutal” Channel swim which raised just over £13,000.

Karen undertook the swim to mark her 50th birthday and raise £10,000 for an Autism Jersey bursary that would fund qualifications or opportunities that would improve the quality of life or enhance employment prospects for adults on the autism spectrum.

After a thwarted attempt in 2018, Karen completed her swim in 2019 in 19 hours and 44 minutes – the first 10 of which were swam in the dark. Her bursary, aptly named ‘Channel Your Dreams’, was launched earlier this year and is already making a “positive difference to the lives of autistic islanders” according to the team at Autism Jersey.

“Karen is a single mother-of-two, including a son with autism who has faced a raft of challenges,” Dr Miles said. 

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Pictured: “Karen is an incredible woman," Dr Miles said.

She continued: “Karen is an inspiration to all women, her great determination to succeed is matched by her depth of compassion for autistic people and their families in Jersey. 

“As a member, former trustee and latterly as Autism Jersey Boutique Manager, she has helped to create a special place where parents, grandparents, friends and family can pop in, not only to buy clothes, but to talk about how autism impacts their lives. Karen is a listening ear and offers practical support and reassurance from a parent’s perspective.”

Dr Miles said Karen’s dedication and passion for autism was “awesome” and worthy of recognition in the 'Inspirational Woman of the Year' category.

“Karen is an incredible woman who has committed herself wholeheartedly to improving the lives of autistic adults in Jersey.”

Voting for the awards closes on 31 July.

CLICK HERE to vote

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