In news

The National Autistic Society, the UK's leading charity for autistic people and their families, is delighted to announce MasterChef star Vanessa D’Souza as its new Celebrity Ambassador.

Vanessa, who received an autism diagnosis last year, progressed to the semi-finals of BBC One’s MasterChef in May, making her food dream a reality. After the cameras stopped rolling, Vanessa launched her brand The Autistic Chef™The Croydon cook describes the kitchen as her “safe place” and loves being able to create recipes that cater for neurodivergent people with sensory sensitivities in mind.

Celebrity Ambassadors live and breathe the National Autistic Society’s values and vision of creating a society that works for all autistic people. Through social media, fundraising and campaigns, Vanessa will help to amplify the charity’s work in transforming lives and changing attitudes.

Vanessa D’Souza, The Autistic Chef™ said: “In the kitchen of life, I've learned that being different is my secret ingredient. 

“I am so proud to represent the National Autistic Society as an ambassador, cooking up awareness, and being actively part of championing the positive neuro-affirming change that’s needed in this world to help make autistic lives easier and more accessible. 

“I look forward to my ambassadorship and working with the National Autistic Society to celebrate what makes us all unique together!”

Caroline Stevens, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “We are delighted to welcome Vanessa as a Celebrity Ambassador for our charity.

“It is so important for public figures, like Vanessa, to share their experiences openly so that more people understand autism, what it is like to be autistic, and to encourage more autistic people to share their stories too. 

“We are very grateful for Vanessa’s time and support for the National Autistic Society and look forward to working together to create better public understanding of autism and help to transform autistic people’s lives."