Asperger’s retreat mum appeals to Richard Branson for help.

Maggie SUS-150519-165830001
Maggie SUS-150519-165830001

A Fairlight mum who is a carer of two children with Asperger’s Syndrome is appealing to Richard Branson to back her business idea.

Maggie Sullivan runs the Sanctuary Retreat holiday let business, which offers accommodation and employment to people who are on the autistic spectrum.

Now she is bidding to win a promotion campaign worth £250,000 that could take the business to the next level.

She is one of only a handful of businesses in the region to put forward plans Richard Branson in the Dragon’s Den sty;e competition Pitch to Rich.

Maggie is herself on the autistic spectrum but has used her practical skills and attention to detail to help get her idea off the ground.

She has based her business not only on her own experiences as a carer of those with autism, but also on ensuring that carers, adults and children with Asperger’s and sensory issues, holiday in an environment that is sensitive to their needs.

The holiday let Business was originally established in the late 1940’s by her grandparents, but fell into decline following the fire at the property and subsequent stroke of her Grandfather.

She is now looking for the support of the ‘Virgin Media Business,’ brand to take it to the next level, with the first prize of a marketing Campaign.

Maggie said: “I’m passionate about keeping rural industry alive and The Sanctuary Retreat has been instrumental to that in the past.

“I believe those with learning difficulties and Autism have a lot to offer the economy, with their unique skills, perseverance and their ability to think outside the box.

“The Growth of our business will not only accelerate our ability to provide a much needed service to regular holidaymakers and those with special needs in a rural area, but will also offer employment to others on the Spectrum, who have a great deal to offer local businesses. “If we are successful, it will be a huge boost for the business and for those with autism. My hope is that it will inspire others with hidden disabilities, to consider following their dream and consider becoming an Entrepreneur.’

If you would like to view their story and vote for their business growth idea, you can view their video ‘Pitch to Rich’ online, at

Voting closes at 5pm on Wednesday.

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