Several weeks ago, back when we had Heroine #2, the fabulous Alex @asideorderofme– nominated a lady called Claire of @nedintheclouds “because she’s a pretty awesome mama, refreshing and honest and does fantastic things to raise awareness for autism”. I’ve since been following Claire on Alex’s recommendation and agree she’s without doubt a worthy heroine. Here’s why. Claire, mother of 2 beautiful boys Ned (5) and Kit (2) is one of those super mamas who gets off their butts and really makes a difference. Ned was diagnosed with autism when he was 2.5 years old and “turned our world upside down in the most beautiful way” Claire says. She supports families on the same path as her own, she writes about her family life and tells her story via her blog, starting with the very next day after Ned was diagnosed (she explains she writes “sporadically but passionately!” – I loved the last post about Ned’s ‘quirks’ more than words).
Meanwhile and away from the blog, Claire started the Autction Project 2 years ago, she made the decision to do it and before she knew it, she had single handedly arranged an Instagram auction with incredible donations from the likes of artists, designers, chefs and many more. In it’s first year, Autction raised £4,000, the second and most recent Autction raised a massive £14,000. The money raised is largely donated to the National Autistic Society and some smaller donations made to independent autism charities, schools and projects. Remember this is a new mum, she’s just found out her son has autism and she’s got out there and not only made a massive contribution to these charities and projects, she’s connected with thousands of parents, reached out when she was just catching her breath and finding her way too. Autism Awareness Week falls in April, please follow Claire on Instagram and look out for her next auction (which will take place during the awareness week). In the meantime, check out her very refreshing blog and enjoy her beautiful little insta squares. Here’s Claire’s heroine interview…
Who’s in your family? Myself, my husband Kyle, Ned who’s 5 and Kit who’s 2.
Where do you live? Wiltshire. Turn one way out of our street and we are in the closest town, turn the other and we are in the country. We bought our first house just before Ned was born and have just started taking about moving on. We will stay relatively close though. Ned attends a school for children with autism here and is doing wonderfully.
Tell us about a typical Sunday? Neither of the boys sleep past 6am and Sundays are no different! They care not for a traditional lie in and a lazy breakfast so we are up with the larks. We eat and plan our day. We are lucky enough to live close to both sets of parents who all have a really special relationship with the boys so we visit often and when we’re lucky (actually most weekends!) we get fed too. We love a good Sunday roast.
What’s your family’s favourite meal? As a collective I’d have to say something Italian. Simple, fresh pasta. Good oil, good bread. Cured meats, tomatoes from the garden.
Tell us your favourite place to go in your neighbourhood. We like to be outside so country parks, the lake behind our house or the woods. It depends which one of us you ask. Ned is obsessed with brand labels and lifts so we spend a considerable amount of time in the supermarket or shopping centres riding the escalator. More time than you would imagine 🙂
Tell us what brands you love to wear the most? I live almost entirely in H&M, charity shop finds and band merch. In fact some of the T-shirts I have, I have had since I was 18
(quite a long time ago). My style hasn’t changed much for a long time. Converse and skinnies (although currently going through an ill advised flares obsession), tee, leather jacket, fringe bag. Dresses and DMs in the summer.
What’s your biggest extravagance? The children. Expensive little things
Do you have any guilty pleasures? Bad TV. I like good films, good music and crappy television although I am getting better. I have stopped watching most reality TV because it was frying my brain. Still like a bit of Teen Mom 2 though.
Tell us a secret about yourself? I’m winging it.
If you could have dinner with any 3 women, real, fictional, dead or alive, who would they be? Professor Temple Grandin, autism spokesperson, author and speaker, Caitlin Moran and Catherine Howard who I have had a life long obsession with and who Kit is named after.
Lastly, who would you nominate to be a heroine? Rox Webster of @young.double because she is a one woman machine, an amazing supporter of Autction and an absolute talent. She’s nice too. Some people eh?
Thanks Claire, what a great insight into your world and beautiful family. Wishing you all the best for the next Autction. (PS. keep enjoying your ‘Teen Mom 2’ girl, we won’t tell anyone…)