King's Award for Rugby Autism Network

The Rugby Autism Network has become the first Rugby charity – and one of the first in the country – to receive a King’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Award was granted on the occasion of King Charles III’s 75th birthday (14 November).
Pictured are volunteers from Rugby Autism Network, families who have been supported by the charity, with Cllr Maggie O’Rourke (front centre), Fay McSorley (front left) and Eric Wood (back left).
14 November 2023

And in a special reception for the Network hosted by the Mayor of Rugby at Rugby Town Hall, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Eric Wood passed on the congratulations of the King himself. During his speech Mr Wood told representatives of the Network that they remain the only charity in the county to have had such a reception in their honour.

Speaking at the reception Cllr Maggie O’Rourke, Mayor of Rugby, said: “I am delighted that this group’s work has been recognised, and on behalf of Rugby Borough Council I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and commitment of your volunteers.

“Rugby Autism Network is the first in the Borough, and one of the first in the county, to receive one of the King’s Awards for Voluntary Service.

“Your voluntary work has improved the lives of many of our citizens and you serve as a shining example of putting service before self. Your outstanding work fully deserves this honour.”

Fay McSorley, founder and chairperson of the Rugby Autism Network, said: “I am very excited and proud of everyone who has supported the Network and our ideas.

“There was no support available when we started 14 years ago, when my eldest was diagnosed. Since then my younger two daughters have also been diagnosed with autism, and I have been diagnosed too.

“It’s been an interesting and exciting journey, and I am so looking forward to making many more friends through the network in future.

“Our volunteers deserve this award, and I am so proud of them.”

The reception was attended by some of the volunteers and families supported by the Rugby Autism Network, along with councillors from across the political groups.