Our team

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Aida Nieri, Senior Employment Consultant

Aida is a specialist autism mentor for AS Mentoring and a former employment and student consultant for The National Autistic Society. For the past 7 years she has been supporting individuals with ASC into paid and voluntary work. She has significant experience helping clients with job finding, interview preparation, and assisting employees with an ASC and their employers. She spent the previous four years supporting children with autism and other special educational needs in education, and has also worked in the field of HR and Personnel Psychology. Aida holds a BA in Psychology, a MSc in Special and Inclusive Education, and a Postgraduate certificate in autism and Asperger syndrome.

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Alan Castellaro, Employment Consultant

Alan's interest in Autism began when he attended St Andrew's primary school in Chinnor, Oxfordshire, one of the first schools in the country to teach Autistic children one to one. In 2009 he volunteered on a project for Kith and Kids supporting a young man with Autism and they have remained in regular contact ever since. He then worked for 4 years with Dimensions as an Assistant Service Manager of a residential home for adults with severe physical disabilities and Autism. For the last 4 years he has worked for Ambitious About Autism starting off as a Learning Behaviour Specialist and moving up to become a Learning Support Co-ordinator, and was instrumental in helping set up Ambitious College, London's first College for young adults with Autism. He has a BA Hons in Writing and Publishing and has a rich and varied employment history to draw upon.

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Alex McGuinness, Employment Consultant

Alex is an Employment Consultant for ASM who has twelve years experience of supporting autistic adults, with a focus on teaching employability and life skills. He has a BSc in Psychology and gained extensive experience supporting autistic adults into employment through working at autism-specific charities including Kith & Kids and Autism Bedfordshire. More recently he has been working within the NHS as an employment specialist and has focused on developing his coaching skills. Alex has run a range of projects preparing people for work including identifying suitable career paths, applications, interview training and has mentored autistic adults on a 1:1 basis to maintain employment.

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Alice Mitra-Hall, Employment Consultant

Alice previously worked for The National Autistic Society where she ran a Day Centre and facilitated a weekly social group. During this time Alice supported adults on the spectrum to develop their independent living and social skills, as well as supporting service users to apply for and attend college and work schemes, CV writing and interview practice. Alice has a BA Hons degree in Psychology and has also worked in a number of schools supporting teenagers with autism and has provided specialist individualised support for a family for over 10 years.

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Amira Hassan, Employment Consultant

Amira's extensive experience with children and teenagers with autism and Asperger Syndrome stems from 5+ years of volunteering and respite work for the charity KEEN London. Her interest in helping adults on the spectrum led her to join AS Mentoring as an employment consultant. Amira holds a Biology BSc (Hons) and is completing a PhD in Neurodevelopment at Imperial College London. Specialising in job application and interview preparation support, Amira also has extensive experience with scientific application processes.

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Andy Graham, Employment Consultant

Andy has worked with autistic adults and children for over twenty years across a range of settings including social care, education and employment settings. Having worked for Prospects, the National Autistic Society’s specialist employment service, for seven years Andy returned to his home island of Guernsey to address much needed gaps in service provision by setting up a service providing autism charity. During this time he also completed his MA Autism. With significant experience in supporting individuals, delivering training and consultancy, and running small charities Andy looks forward to offering support in the Bristol area and continuing to develop his own knowledge and understanding. Outside of his work at ASM Andy works for a Bristol based charity and is developing a website based social enterprise.
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Anna Roads, Employment Consultant

Anna spent 24 years in the investment management sector, working in sales, marketing, product development and client relationships for a number of blue chip firms including Lazards, Fidelity and Goldman Sachs. She developed successful business relationships with large corporates, consultancies and public sector organisations. In her leadership roles, she also enjoyed coaching and developing careers for younger team members. These are skills and contacts she brings to ASM clients. Over the past 6 years she has developed a number of voluntary roles; relaunched the local NAS branch as Chair (2011-2015), served on a local parents special needs forum (2012-2014), been elected a parent governor at a special needs school and worked as a volunteer mentor on a Research Autism Project. Her focus has been on education and now employment, both as a parent of a young person with ASC and through the influence of autistic colleagues she has served with before. Before joining the City, she gained a law degree from Cambridge University, an MBA from Cranfield Business School and qualified as a solicitor.

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Bob Chase, Employment Consultant

Bob recently joined ASM from the National Autistic Society (NAS) where he was the Head of Digital for seven years.  At the NAS Bob worked alongside and directly managed colleagues with an ASC. He also set up and managed the NAS online community for people with autism and their families. He has a background in digital management, business development/marketing, arts management and media. He has worked in the private, public and charity sectors and been a management team member of many organisations. Bob offers a combined knowledge of organisations, recruitment and autism.

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Charlotte Leighton, Employment Consultant

Charlotte specialises in providing workplace support for individuals as well as working with organisations to provide autism specific support and advice. As well as working for ASM Charlotte also works part-time for Resources for Autism as the Adult Autism Support Manager. She has a strong track record of helping clients with finding work experience, job searching and interview preparation. This experience has been gained through her work at ASM and her previous work as an Employment Support Worker at The National Autistic Society. Charlotte has also worked for HAIL in Haringey for two years managing social enterprises staffed entirely of employees with Autism, Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions. For the past six years Charlotte has designed and lead confidence and social skills groups and workshops for adults with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. Charlotte holds certificates in Person Centered Counselling and is also currently training to become a CBT/REBT Therapist.

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David Perkins, Director

David was Head of Services at Prospects, the National Autistic Society's specialist employment service, from 2007 – 2013; he left in June 2013 to set up AS Mentoring. He has extensive experience of supporting people with an ASC into employment across the UK and abroad, and of providing a wide range of training, assessment and consultancy services to employers and other organisations in the UK, Europe and the US. He has worked continuously with people with autism since the early 1980s. David has spent the bulk of his working life in the voluntary sector and prior to the NAS spent many years running a group of specialist adventure playgrounds in London for over 1200 disabled children, (some 30% of whom were autistic). He has a BSc (Hons) in Operational Research from Lancaster University.

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Ellena Wilkinson, Employment Consultant

Ellena worked as a specialist autism consultant at The National Autistic Society for six years, where she managed the specialist mentoring service for students with ASC at universities within London. She has significant experience supporting adults with ASC with job finding, interview preparation and workplace support, and has delivered autism awareness training to a variety of professionals including disability advisors, DSA needs assessors and employers. Ellena is a specialist autism consultant at AS Mentoring and a Disability Advisor and Specialist Mentor at City, University of London where she supports students with a wide range of disabilities to overcome the barriers they may encounter. Ellena holds a BSc in Human Biology and Psychology and an MSc in Psychology.

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Ellie Crawshaw, Employment Consultant

Ellie has worked with adults on the Autism Spectrum for 13 years including supporting individuals within work placements and those seeking employment. Ellie graduated from Goldsmiths University with a BA hons degree in Social Anthropology and Sociology. She had worked in various roles in London with the likes of The National Autistic Society, Burgess Autistic Trust and Ambitious About Autism. Ellie has a specialised interest in promoting Artists with Autism and curated the exhibition Artistic Spectrum at the Red Gallery, Old Street. She wants to continue to promote Artists on the Autistic Spectrum so they can gain employment within creative industry.

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Emma Hills, Employment Consultant

Emma has been teaching psychology and health related subjects to adults since 2009 with the majority of her work focusing on providing social purpose education in the community to hard-to-reach groups, including those with disabilities. Much of her work focuses on supporting learners through transition and has led her to develop herself as a coach as well as an educator. More recently she has found herself key-working with learners with disabilities in a transition college as well as training and supervising the staff who support them. Emma mentors and tutors a diverse range of learners including learners on the autism spectrum in her continuing work in the community. Emma works part-time as an Employment Consultant with ASM and finds her knowledge and experience gained from facilitating community courses such as 'confidence building', 'communication skills' or 'interviewing skills' compliments the role well. She has a BSc Hons Psychology, PG-dip Social research, PGCE in post-compulsory education and is a registered health and social care trainer as well as a full member of the Association for Coaching. Emma is also currently studying for an MA in Education: Culture and Identity, at Goldsmith university.

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Eve Riches, Employment Consultant

Eve has been supporting young people as a Psychology Teacher for twenty years, where she is the department lead for careers advice and higher education. She has a BSc. in Psychology, a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and is a qualified Independent Visitor and Health Improvement Advisor. Eve has a wide variety of volunteering experience as a mentor. This has included six years volunteering as an Independent Visitor, providing specialist one to one mentoring support within the care system. Eve has a lot of personal experience of Autism, which enables her to use both her personal experiences and her professional background to support clients. She also has extensive experience of dealing with the effects of disability (Eve is registered blind / severely sight impaired): overcoming discrimination in the workplace, accessing statutory funding and reasonable adjustments.

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Gurleen Manku, Regional Employment Consultant

Gurleen has thirteen years' experience of autism. She has a sibling on the spectrum, and has worked for four years as an Applied Behaviour Analyst (ABA) Tutor for children with autism in Birmingham. She has previously worked in primary education for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), and has been a SEN Secondary School Govenor. In 2015 Gurleen volunteered at Autism West Midlands to support adults with autism to find employment. She then worked for Enable, Shropshire Council as a Job Coach in various workplaces supporting adults with autism and learning disabilities. Gurleen is highly experienced in delivering Pre-employment support, mentoring and Workplace support at AS Mentoring across the West Midlands. Gurleen holds a BSc in Business Psychology and is a member of the British Psychological Society, within the Division of Occupational Psychology in which she is a member of their Neurodiversity and Employment Working Group. She is also currently completing her Masters in Occupational Psychology.

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Helen Farley, Employment Consultant

Helen has considerable knowledge and experience of mentoring young people into employment as a senior manager in education with a BEd in Education, a PG Cert in Autism and a PG diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties. In addition, she has supported a family member with a late diagnosis of autism through university and into the workplace, and brings significant experience and practical knowledge to supporting individuals with ASC. She has also worked for the National Autistic Society supporting university students through their studies and into employment since 2014. Helen has a particular interest in developing opportunities for people with AS with a range of employers from the private, public and voluntary sectors.

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Jane Gurnett, Employment Consultant

Jane has worked as a teacher, workshop leader, mentor, actor and is co- founder of Act for Autism a not for profit company which delivers workshops using drama strategies to help neurotypicals ‘walk in the shoes of’ autistic children and adults. As a teacher she has taught drama and supported autistic pupils in a mainstream school. She also mentors’ dyslexic pupils in a mainstream school. She has written articles for Aukids, Good Autism Practice and Emerald Publishing. She has an MA in ‘The Advanced Teaching of Shakespeare’ and is completing a BPhil in Autism. Jane is passionate that every person has the chance to fulfil their full potential.

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Laura Williams, Support Coordinator

Laura has been supporting adults with autism through employment and higher education since September 2013. Prior to her role as Employment Consultant with AS Mentoring, Laura spent 3 years with The National Autistic Society's Student Support team. She graduated from university with a BA Hons degree in Graphic Design and spent the following years working with children and adults with disabilities in both educational and leisure settings, before focusing her career on specialist autism support. Having worked with the AS Mentoring team since 2014, Laura has supported clients through specialist Pre-employment and Workplace support and continues to develop and deliver specialist ASC awareness workshops and training.

 

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Oli Monks, Employment Consultant

Oli is an Employment Consultant for AS Mentoring, supporting clients throughout pre-employment and within the workplace. He has a sibling on the autism spectrum and has experience working within the HR team at a major corporate company. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Lancaster University and has previously run projects within the area to support autistic students and adults into their first work experience opportunities. Oli is also the Founder of Place with Purpose, a new organisation soon to be providing training and placement opportunities for autistic people.

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Rachel Pearson, Senior Regional Employment Consultant

Following a successful 13-year career in the City Rachel moved into HR and Business Consultancy specialising in organisation restructuring projects involving (often large scale) job review, recruitment and redundancy programmes. She has extensive experience of working with SME employers and large organisations in the public and private sectors around all aspects of the employment relationship. Rachel previously volunteered with the National Autistic Society's Prospects Team and she now works as an employment consultant specialising in supporting people with an ASC to find and retain work. She also works with the NAS's Employment Training and Adult Services Teams supporting students and employees, and providing advice and guidance to employers. With a close family member on the autistic spectrum, Rachel also volunteers with her local NAS branch in Surrey. She holds an MSc in Human Resource Management and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

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Saida Tahir, Employment Consultant

Saida has extensive experience working with students on the autistic spectrum.  As a teacher, she ran social skills groups for pupils on the autism spectrum as well as workshops and training programmes for school staff.  Whilst studying for her MA in Special and Inclusive Education, she worked as a mental health advisor for the charity Young Minds.  Saida is also about to start her PhD in Psychology in September, researching into Autism Spectrum Conditions and co-occuring anxiety. Saida has a son with Aspergers and aims to combine both her professional and personal experiences to better support her clients.  She is keen to enable people identify their strengths and interests to support them into work.

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Siobhan Pauley, Employment Consultant

Siobhan has first-hand experience of supporting someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD as her son has moved through various life transitions, experiencing the hurdles faced by people on the autistic spectrum. She spent 30 years working within Human Resources of a large financial institution attaining her MCIPD status, where she became the company’s Reasonable Adjustment Officer. It was her responsibility to ensure that employees with disabilities were able to receive the right workplace accommodations to enable them to access various roles in the company. This has given her considerable insight to enable her to support our clients. Following a career move, Siobhan is setting up AS Mentoring services in and around Poole, Dorset- as well as working part time to support an individual with profound learning difficulties within an independent living service.