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About this section

In this section you will find information about Autism West Midlands, our people, and job opportunities.

Our people

We employ 250 staff, delivering a wide range of services to people on the autism spectrum. As well as residential homes and supported living, we offer a range of training and education services; family support and a helpline service; and support people with autism into employment. Staff are encouraged to develop their skills and knowledge, and each year many of them gain additional qualifications. We are an Investor in People and hold the Customer Service Excellence award.

Our trustees

Our charity is governed by Trustees, all of whom give their services free of charge. Our Trustees are responsible for the overall strategy of the charity and for its governance.

  • Justine Morton (Chair)
  • John Drozd (Chair of the Finance Committee)
  • Gurdip Singh
  • Ashok Roy
  • Glenys Jones
  • Phil Jordan

Our staff

Day to day running of the charity is the responsibility of the staff, led by the chief executive and senior management team.

Senior Management Team

Phil Middlewood
Philip Middlewood - Chief Executive

Phil Middlewood joined Autism West Midlands as Chief Executive in March 2016. Phil spent his early career working in local government before moving into the charity sector. He spent most of his working life in senior management positions focusing on developing new services in training, employment and social care. Phil’s role often dealt with the most vulnerable communities or people in society. Prior to joining Autism West Midlands Phil was Development Director for eight years at a large charity, providing care and support for adults with learning disabilities or on the autism spectrum. Having been a governor at an ‘outstanding’- rated Ofsted special school for 12 years, including time as the Chairman, he understands the importance of recognising everyone’s strengths and of supporting people to find fulfilment, purpose and enjoyment in their lives. Phil has a strong belief in supporting an inclusive society so that all people are equally valued and respected as individuals.

Jason Johnson - Director of Finance and Resources

Jason joined Autism West Midlands in September 2016 following roles in both the private and charitable sector. He commenced his career in industry where he trained as a chartered accountant gaining experience in many finance disciplines across a wide range of specialisms. Following a volunteering role as Treasurer, a career change ensued resulting in 15 years’ experience in the charity sector as part of the senior management teams and several years volunteering providing direct support to adults and children during vulnerable periods. Jason will be working with the finance, facilities and front of house teams.

Fabrizio Donati - Director of Operations

After a career as a jazz drummer, Fabrizio turned to social care in 1997 working at the front line in residential and day services. He soon progressed to managing registered care homes for people on the Autism Spectrum. During this time he qualified as a trainer of an accredited positive behaviour support method. This experience had a lasting effect on Fabrizio’s approach to holistic and person centred practice for people with challenging needs. Following this, he worked for a medium sized specialist provider for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions, managing a portfolio of community, family support, residential and supported living services. Fabrizio joined Autism West Midlands in July 2017. He is committed to promoting positive environments and views the provision of quality support underpinned by true empathy as central to his responsibility.

Operation Management Team

Michelle Cox Coley - Operations Manager

Michelle joined Autism West Midlands in January 2017 and has 24 year’s experience working with disabled children, adults and their families, 19 years of which have been at a supervisory and management level. Michelle started her working career as a support worker and worked her way up to Deputy Manager, Manager and spent 15 years in project development. Michelle has worked within charities, local government, and education. She has also been a volunteer advocate for a man with dual sensory impairment and learning difficulties ensuring that his needs were always at the centre of the support he received. She has a strong value base and believes that the key to supporting people to lead fulfilling and happy lives is by providing support that focuses on the needs, aspirations and wants of those we support.

Deborah Hughes – Operations Manager

Deborah joined Autism West Midlands in July 2017 and has experience of over 34 years within health and social care. Prior to joining the organisation she worked for Sense National Deafblind and Rubella Association for 28 years. Deborah’s role as the Operations Manager at Sense covered residential care, supported living, day services and outreach services in the West Midlands area. Her approach as an Operations Manager is always putting people first and promoting the use of person centred models of service delivery. Deborah is firmly committed to the personalisation agenda under ‘Valuing People Now’ and dedicated to drive this forward, ensuring that services are developed to optimise choice and control for those who are supported through Autism West Midlands.