Comet Community Awards: ‘Lauren from Hitchin is our hero – she never gives up’

The inspirational Lauren Asad

The inspirational Lauren Asad - Credit: Archant

A talented teen on the autistic spectrum whose dream is to become a professional artist has been nominated in this year’s Comet Community Awards, which provide an opportunity to recognise those who have gone the extra mile for others.

Her grandmother Pauline Mahon put forward 15-year-old Lauren Asad – who has an auditory and information processing disorder, language delays. social anxiety, sensory processing and phobic disorders – for Role Model of the Year after praising her creative efforts and charity fundraising.

Lauren, who also has panic attacks, faced up to her fears by painting live at a prestigious art event attended by thousands in London’s East End at the acclaimed Old Truman Brewery last October – with her work hailed by critics.

Pauline said: “Art allows her to be free and to be the girl she wants to be. The girl who does art not the girl with autism. I think she’s phenomenal.

“She dedicates all her spare time improving skills pursuing her passion, attending workshops, tutoring and creating her own pieces.

“She has used her opportunities to raise more than £2,000 for charity.”

Lauren also painted a picture as a gift to Keech Hospice Care – her father was diagnosed with cancer and passed away shortly after.

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Her talent has also seen her artwork appear on the London Underground. The world-renowned Royal College of Art have invited her to take part in a charity exhibition, and she receives commissions from all over the world including from Hollywood. Her Facebook page, Defined by Art, already has 10,000 likes. As Pauline says: “She has achieved amazing things already for a teenager – but for Lauren it’s a phenomenal achievement.”

Her mum Jacqui added: “No matter how hard life is for Lauren she never gives up. She’s our hero!”

To put your own hero or heroine forward for one of the 12 categories visit before the April 21 deadline.