TalkTalk chief executive donates bonus to Muswell Hill autism charity

Baroness Harding is donating her bonus. Photo: Simon Way

Baroness Harding is donating her bonus. Photo: Simon Way - Credit: Archant

The major donation was announced following an expensive cyber attack on the telecoms company

The CEO of a major telecoms company has announced she is donating her £220,000 bonus to a Muswell Hill autism centre.

Baroness Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk, which suffered a major cyber attack last year, says it is a personal decision to donate her bonus.

The gift was received by Ambitious about Autism, on Woodside Avenue, a national charity which raises awareness of autism and provides educational support through the Treehouse School and Ambitious College.

It will bolster the charity’s £4.4m fundraising drive to raise money for Ambitious College, offering education to 16-25 year olds with complex autism.


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Less than one in four young people with autism can access further education, but the college can only accommodate 40 pupils from its temporary home in Barnet.

They are raising money towards two permanent new campuses – one to open in Seven Sisters in September, and the second in Isleworth in 2017, allowing them to cater for up to 170 students.

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TalkTalk has supported Ambitious About Autism for 14 years, raising more than £2m for the charity.

Baroness Harding said: “Throughout the cyber attack, we worked hard to put our customers first, and we know that they have appreciated our efforts and our honesty throughout.

“Nevertheless, last October was a challenging period for TalkTalk and its customers and, in recognition of that, I have made a personal decision to donate my bonus to our charity partner, Ambitious About Autism.”

Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious about Autism, said: “On behalf of everybody at Ambitious about Autism, I would like to say a huge thank you to Dido for her generous gift and continued support for children and young people with autism.”

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