Vikie Shanks is a true 'Super-Mum'. Vikie’s book ‘Unravelled’-The inspirational true story of a journey out of darkness, sees Vikie left to raise her seven children - all with special needs - alone, after her husband tragically committed suicide. Her journey to 'normality' is remarkable and she now works on campaigning for better awareness of autism, mental health and suicidality.
Vikie Shanks was born in 1958 in Aden (now South Yemen), where her father was stationed in the RAF, the youngest of three children, and lived from the age of five in Waterbeach near Cambridge.
At the age of seventeen she left home and moved to London to start work as a trainee buyer in Harrods but left after a year and became a croupier. After two years working in London and a further year in Spain she became a full time model back in the UK.
Aged twenty-five she met Paul Shanks, who was to become her husband and father to her seven children. Due to a severe mental illness he died at the age of 51, and she has been a single mother to her seven autistic children - the two youngest have Cerebral Palsy - since 2007.
Vikie is author of the book 'Unravelled' and is on a mission to change perceptions around mental health issues, and debunking myths around autism.
The Netflix documentary of Vikie's story, Kingdom Of Us, was the winner of The Best Documentary prize at the London BFI London Film Festival 2017 and was also nominated for a BAFTA. The Royal College of Psychiatry reccomends the film as essential viewing.
In 2015 Vikie presented a TED talk entitled 'Why my Autistic Children Don't Need a Cure' which has had nearly 70,000 views and is shown in schools, colleges and universities all over the world.
Vikie has spoken to audiences from the NHS, HBAA, Warwick Business School, various schools, colleges, and universities, and has been heavily involved in research with Coventry University, Nottingham University and the charity Autistica. She is their media commentator, recently appearing on The Victoria Derbyshire Show.
Vikie is a true 'Super-Mum' who's story and continued campaigning for better awareness of autism, mental health and suicidality makes her a truly inspirational and talented speaker.