Meet the Team

Meet our amazing team members who make all of this possible.

Aston Avery


My name is Aston Avery. The reason for founding Team Avery Essex is because I've been through a lot of health and medical problems through my childhood which involved having operations. I feel that I would like to give back to people that are inspiring, those that help the community, and break through barriers they thought they could never reach. I'm also an ambassador for autism charity Anna Kennedy Online. I also wanted to do some campaigning as well as within the autism sector, to make sure that we're autism aware. My name is Aston Avery and I'm autistic and proud.

Dawn Avery

Team Leader

My name is Dawn. I'm the emotional heartstrings behind Team Avery Essex. I am a proud mother and nana. I bring the emotions and artistic flair to the team and like to think I am a part of the drive behind Aston's dreams. Together, myself and Keith along with the rest of the amazing team help Aston to fufill his wishes. I project manage a lot of the team's fundraising events and plan ideas to help raise funds. Aston's dreams are the heart of what we want to achieve, and as a team I really do think we are doing it. I am so proud of what Aston has achieved, and can't wait to see what he does next.

Keith Avery

Team Leader

Hello, my name is Keith Avery. I am the father of Aston, the founder of the team, as well as his brother Aaron. My family are my world, and I am a strong supporter of everything Team Avery Essex stands for. I provide the manpower that enables Aston to carry out his discos and fundraising events. This includes transporting and building Aston's set, and any other heavy lifting work or manual labour. I have energy and empathy for each and every charity the team has supported. I am a firm leader, and I also oversee the funds raised to ensure they go to the most worthy of causes.

Mandy Richardson

Treasurer & Pamper Judge

I am Mandy Richardson, the Treasurer and a founding member of Team Avery. I first got to know the Avery family through the singing circuit where Aston and Jessica regularly sang. I was inspired by Aston's journey and the message he and his family put out about his story and everything they have experienced over the years. I have been involved with fundraising events, the Pamper Project, and have assisted Aston in his presentations at schools and continue to do so to bring awarenesss to anyone interested in finding out more about us.

Karen Ranford Hawley

Team Member & Pamper Judge

My name is Karen Hawley, a mum of three from Basildon. I became a member of Team Avery Essex when it first started. I'm also the treasurer for the Reece Hawley Foundation. I helped to found the Reece Hawley Foundation after losing my son Reece to a brain tumour at the age of 21 in 2014. I now spend my spare time helping to run the foundation and being a part of Team Avery Essex. I am a judge on the panel of Aston's Pamper Project and feel privileged to help so many other deserving people every day.

Gail Rivers

Team Member & Pamper Judge

I'm Gail. I now live in Wales where I work part time. Previous to this, I lived and worked in Basildon. Dawn and I are friends from school and I was lucky enough to reacquaint with her a few years ago. At the time, I was teaching beauty therapy and had a great interest in helping women with cancer who were undergoing treatment to look and feel better. Makeovers, pampers, even if it was just giving someone some eyebrows to make them feel comfortable. One Sunday afternoon, me and Dawn met up and decided to expand this idea, which became the pamper project you now see today. The fact that the nominees are chosen by people who love and care for them make it all the more special.

Elise Lawrence

Team Member

While writing this bio, I asked some friends for their thoughts. Loon, supportive, big heart. In fact, 'loon' came up more than once! All I can really add is that I do what I can when I can, I always take serious things with a pinch of salt, try to find the funny side even in those darker times, be there for family and friends when they need me - normally airport runs and raffles, but hey, they thought of me first! I love or at least like most animals, and am a fan of the outdoors. I like arts and crafts, though I'm no good at it, but enjoy it regardless!

Jessica Richardson

Team Member

Hello! I'm Jessica Richardson. I'm a member of Team Avery. I first met the family when I used to sing locally and they were really supportive of me on The Voice Kids. As I got to know the family more, I wanted to help spread the word of their mission and with the help of John Summerton and my friends, The Averyettes, we recorded a version of This is Me from The Greatest Showman. This song really resonated with me that it is important to celebrate everyone's unique qualities; that people can be different but not less. This song is played in Aston's school presentations and I am delighted to continue to support Team Avery singing at their events.

Jack Burns

Website Developer

Hello! My name is Jack, and I'm a web designer. I created this site as a "donation" of sorts to TeamAveryEssex. I admire Aston and his family greatly and feel this is the least I could do for them. I've taken great care to make sure this site is the best it can be for the team, and I hope you enjoy the site as much as I enjoyed creating it! If you happen to be a fan of my work, why not get in touch with me? You can visit my site if you'd like!