Golden Hat Foundation

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The Golden Hat Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by actress Kate Winslet and Margret Ericsdottir in 2010.[1][2] The two met while Winslet was filming the documentary A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism, which focused on Ericsdottir's son Keli Thorsteinsson, who is autistic and non-verbal. The organization centers on raising strengths-focused autism awareness and states that their mission is to "Change the way people on the autism spectrum are perceived, by shining a light on their abilities and emphasizing their great potential."[3]

The organization takes its name from a poem written by Thorsteinsson, in which he described a magical golden hat that had the ability to speak for its protagonist, who was unable to speak.[4] In 2011 the Golden Hat Foundation paired with the cosmetics company Lancôme to create a golden hat themed make-up collection,[5] with the intent for part of the proceeds to benefit the organization.[6]


A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism released in 2009 and centered upon Ericsdottir's attempts to find a way for her son Keli to communicate.[7] The documentary was directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson and featured Winslet as the film's narrator. A Mother's Courage was met with positive reviews.[8][9] The documentary introduced Ericsdottir and Winslet to one another, and Winslet came up with the idea of creating the Golden Hat Foundation after her daughter Mia asked Winslet about what it would be like to be unable to communicate with her mother.[10]


On March 27, 2012, Winslet and the Golden Hat Foundation published The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism through Simon & Schuster.[11] The book compiled correspondence between Winslet and Ericsdottir, personal statements from various celebrities, and several contributions from Ericsdottir's son Keli. Publishers Weekly gave a positive review for The Golden Hat, praising it for its "warmth and sincerity".[12]


  1. ^ Clark, Cindy (26 March 2012). "Kate Winslet wears a new hat: Charity coordinator". USA Today. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Film moves Winslet to start charity". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Golden Hat Foundation". The Golden Hat Foundation. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Seidman, Ellen. "The Gift Of Communication For Kids With Autism And Other Special Needs". Retrieved 12 August 2013. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Kate Winslet launches makeup range with Lancôme". Independent. London. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Kate Winslet and Lancôme team up for charity". Belfast Telegraph. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Monder, Eric. "Film Review: A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism". Film Journal. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Taylor, Ella. "Overcoming Autism With 'A Mother's Courage'". NPR. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Webster, Andy (23 September 2010). "Confronting Autism". New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Winslet launches autism charity". September 24, 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Corridan, Kara. "A Mom You Won't Forget"., Goodyblog. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Review: The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 12 August 2013.