Yo Dona International Awards in Madrid honored Kate Winslet with the Humanitarian of the Year award on June 21, 2011. Kate was honored for her humanitarian work through the Golden Hat Foundation, her new charity created to help those with autism. She was presented with a statue by Spain's Minister of Culture, Angeles Gonzalez Sinde.

When asked how she felt about receiving this award, Kate said, “This award means a huge amount to me because I have never received an award like this before. … it [this award] means we can reach out to other people and spread the word about our mission.”

Though not personally affected by autism, Kate Winslet has been an inspiration to families and individuals living with this condition. She has demonstrated that one need not be affected by autism to help the cause. Changing perceptions of the intellectual capabilities of those with autism starts with accepting them as they are, not as society often perceives them to be.

The worldwide mission of the Golden Hat Foundation is to eliminate barriers for people with autism and to create an environment that holds them as intellectually capable. The main objective is to generate public awareness of the intellectual capabilities of people with autism and the need for effective communication and academic education. A long-term goal is the establishment of innovative living campuses which focus on training professionals while offering people with autism the opportunity to learn to communicate effectively, receive an academic education, job training and enjoy recreational activities, all within a supportive social network.

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