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.
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.
David Ramsay (Chairman)
John Drozd (Chair of the Finance Committee)
Day to day running of the charity is the responsibility of the staff, led by the chief executive and senior management team.
Jonathan Shephard - Chief Executive
Jonathan read English and then law at Oxford University, winning two university prizes and the New Statesman Student Journalist Competition. After being called to the bar he worked for Which? (Consumers’ Association) in charge of financial research. He has been MD of business and consumer magazine publishing companies, and in 2004 became CEO of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), where he brokered the settlement with the Office of Fair Trading on exchange of commercial information, and persuaded Government Ministers to leave unchanged the definition of public benefit in the Charities Act 2006. Between ISC and Autism West Midlands, he was CEO of the trade body for the UK magazine publishing industry.
Dan Paget - Head of Finance
Dan joined Autism West Midlands in January 2011 as Head of Finance. Previously, he spent 9 years working for Deloitte, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. In his time at Deloitte, Dan spent 3 years in Audit and 6 years in Corporate Finance. In his Corporate Finance role, he advised a number of clients in the care sector on M&A transactions. Since his arrival at Autism West Midlands, Dan has transformed the financial management of the Charity and has been instrumental in driving through cost savings and efficiencies.
Anabel Sainza-Fernandez - Head of Regulated Activity
Anabel came to Autism West Midlands in 2011 as Head of Regulated Activity. She has spent over nine years working with people with autism, seven of those in management positions. Her experience has covered a wide range of different settings including a residential school, supported living and outreach work. She has a degree in Psychology and a second degree in Criminology, and is currently undertaking a postgraduate qualification in Asperger Syndrome. As Head of Regulated Activity she is responsible for all regulated activity and is our nominated individual for the Care Quality Commission.
Sarah Francis - Head of Marketing and Communications
Sarah joined Autism West Midlands in November 2010. She has a first class degree in Digital Art and Design, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Prior to this role, Sarah managed marketing and design for the Environment and Consumer Protection division at Hillingdon Council, and worked in media and communications teams at Hull and Brunel Universities. Sarah has also worked as a marketing and design consultant for large organisations including Glastonbury Festival and the O2 Arena in London. Her role as Head of Marketing and Communications includes management of all of the charity's external and internal publications, marketing, and graphic design, as well as responsibility for the information and advice service and employment service (Aspire). Sarah is the editor of Autism Matters, our members magazine, and leads on digital engagement.