The key objectives of The Autism Trust are to provide vocational skills to enable 'real world living and working' as an outcome for all those with autism supported by The Autism Trust, to support people with autism to live fulfilling and rewarding lives and to cope with life's challenges through managing their well being, developing social skills and ultimately by eventually providing specialist care based housing solutions. We strive to build futures with purpose for all individuals, regardless of age, ability, race, faith or gender.
The Autism Trust is a registered charity 1117657
Management - The A Team
PARENT LEAD TRUSTEE BOARD -
Polly Tommey - Founder & Chair of Trustee BoardMrs Polly Tommey founded the trust in 2007 after her middle son Billy was diagnosed with autism. She is also the editor of The Autism File- a bimonthly digital magazine that goes out to over 20,000 subscribers all over the world.
Mo Wilson - Vice Chair of Trustee Board, General Manager,
Specialist ASD Trainer and ASDAN Assessor
Mrs Mo Wilson is the mother of 2 sons; her eldest Ryan has autism. She is the Manager of The Autism Trust UK - Polly’s Place. Mo has a wealth of experience with all aspects of the autistic spectrum, from special diets, biomedical, holistic therapies to Home Educating Ryan for 6 ½ years after 3 SEN Tribunal and a High Court Battle as her son’s advocate. She trained in ABA and VB to use these and RDI techniques to facilitate her son’s communication problems. She now uses those years of her experiences with her son to train individuals with autism in vocational skills at the Camberley Training Centre in the UK. She provides many kinds of support for the UK autism community and the artists who sell their art and craft products though the gift boutique and gallery.
Mo dedicates all her time to autism and the individuals and families that need her help. She maintains that her son Ryan is her best teacher and believes no one with autism should be left behind and bespoke training is the key.
Fiona Ringwood - Treasurer & Trustee Board Member
Mrs Fiona Ringwood is mum to Oliver, an adult who has high functioning autism, dyspraxia and PDA (undiagnosed). Since Oliver was diagnosed in 2000, she has been self-employed running her own book-keeping business. Recently she followed her interests in well-being and aromatherapy and became an Independent Consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies. She also has a small artisan cut flowers business, growing and selling traditional seasonal British cut flowers. She has taken an active role in various parent support/campaign groups and charities over the years and tries to stay focused in the area of autism, disability, especially locally to where she lives. She has over 25 years of book-keeping experience and provides small business set up advice.
Fiona has been a supporter of The Autism Trust UK for many years and now wants to help grow the charity and ensure the aims and objectives can be achieved.
Allison Edwards - Trustee Board Member
Mrs Allison Edwards a Former model, and long time Campaigning Mother from the Midlands who eye witnessed her youngest sons regression into severe autism after his MMR and is determined to make a difference to other families who are experiencing the same. Alli understands the daily difficulties of seeking good support and services whilst managing life with her severe non verbal adult son it has taken her years to become an expert by experience.
Simone Lanham - Trustee Board Member
Mrs Simone Lanham is a New Zealander who's lived in London for 20 years. She worked in internal and external communications in the banking sector in NZ before coming to London and working as a TV journalist for CNBC and as an Account Director for a PR agency in Covent Garden. For the past 17 years she's been the owner, director and brand guardian of entertainment company, Incognito Artists, with offices in London and New York, in partnership with her husband, Geoff Sewell. She co-created and co-managed the world's first opera band, Amici forever, who sold 3.5 million albums worldwide from 2002-2006, and works with her husband on his ongoing solo albums, song writing, promotional events and concert tours. She's also a certified health coach, through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York, qualifying in March, 2016. She's mum to two precious girls, one of whom has autism and after years of early intervention is now in 'managed recovery'.
Lorraine Wood - Assistant Office Manager
Mrs Lorraine Wood began volunteering at the charity in 2018 and is now the Assistant Office Manager. She has a strong background in IT, contract and people management. Although no previous exposure to autism, Lorraine has always been interested in helping young people with learning disabilities and has volunteered in this area. Whilst in higher education Lorraine assisted young children with extra Maths and English. Valuing her own education and opportunities in life, she now wants to use her skills and experience to help support others to reach their potential and build a better life. Lorraine has found working at the charity to be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Juliah Mackenzie-Luck - Financial Officer
Juliah became financial officer to the Autism Trust UK in August 2021. She joins us with a wealth of experience in finance, having previously spent 12 years with a large multi-national company, in the role of a financial controller. Trained as an accountant, Juliah has been in finance for all of her working career.
In her spare time, Juliah is a director for a resident’s management company and a conservation area, known locally as the Enchanted Garden. She has also been a long-term volunteer at a local hospice. Her main hobby is buying and selling antiques in addition to making bespoke cake stands from vintage crockery.
Volunteers - POLLY's PLACE Angels
Cathy Alloway - ASDAN Internal Moderator
Mrs Cathy Alloway has extensive experience working with young people with special needs at multiple educational establishments. She is keen to use her experience to benefit and help young adults achieve their full potential.
Rose Cutler - Office Administrator
Mrs Rose Cutler helps with the admin at the Trust. She likes the lovely atmosphere and feels that she is fortunate to observe the students and their families gain confidence through learning and interaction, enabling them to obtain qualifications and employment.
Steph Graves - Donation Administrator
Mrs Steph Graves was loving her Retirement, doing what she wanted and finding new hobbies working full time for many years, but she still had a feeling she wanted to do something useful, and keep her brain cells working. It was just by chance she was walking past The Autism Trust in Camberley and saw a request for Volunteers. She started volunteering a couple of weeks later, for just 6hrs a week. She does office admin, and helps at coffee mornings and Lego clubs & Craft clubs too. She says "The people she works with are all GREAT. Very hardworking and enthusiastic, and I very much admire all the young adults with autism who do training at The Autism Trust. I have learnt so much in my time there".
Mr Ray Sharp was made redundant in August 2019 after working for 50 years, and he needed something to keep his mind active, after looking for a paying job which was not forth coming he decided that maybe a volunteer’s position would be ideal for what he needed. In September he volunteered and soon found that Polly’s Place was a caring, friendly place to be where students learn to achieve their ASDAN qualifications with the hope that they will be able land themselves work in the future. Now that he has been with us for over six months, actively helping with craft projects and the clubs the creative staff put on for Autistic students and children alike in half-terms, Ray says he now feel part of the happy family.
He says “Covid-19 has been a real bind but we have been having weekly team meetings and the morale is still high. Work has been given out to be completed at home but most of all we have had bingo evenings and quiz nights to help keep the family together”.