Our team

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Aeryn Priyanu , Employment Consultant

Aeryn has always had an interest in language and communication. Starting her early career in teaching English as a foreign language, she went on to shadow a Speech and Language Therapist and this started her interest in working with people on the autism spectrum. She worked in primary schools as a Learning Support Assistant then moved on to work for the National Autistic Society in a day centre. Aeryn started off as a Support Worker, moving up to become Deputy Manager of the day service. She supported individuals in their daily life and helped them gain work experience and vocational skills. As well as working as a consultant with AS Mentoring, Aeryn works in a college for young people with autism, facilitating individuals with functional and social aspects of life, supporting students to meet their targets and maintain long life independent living skills.

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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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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 has been a mentor at AS Mentoring for 4 years. Amira has a variety of clients for both workplace and job-seeking support. After completing her PhD in Neuroscience from Imperial College London, Amira decided to be involved with AS Mentoring full time and is currently managing the Workshops Programme, overseeing the development and online delivery of workshops and group events throughout the year. Amira is warm and friendly, providing individual, autism-specific support and advice. 

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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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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. This experience has been honed through her work at ASM and her previous role as an Employment Support worker and trainer at The National Autistic Society. Charlotte has subsequently worked for HAIL in Haringey for two years managing social enterprises staffed entirely of employees with autism and learning disabilities. She has also worked as an Appropriate Adult supporting vulnerable individuals whilst in police custody. For the past ten years Charlotte has confidently designed and delivered social skills groups and workshops for adults with autism. As well as working for ASM she is also employed part-time for Resources for Autism in Barnet managing their adult services. Charlotte is able to support individuals emotionally as well practically as she holds certificates in Person Centered counselling and a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

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 Riches is an employment consultant for AS Mentoring, where she provides one to one support and workshop creation and delivery. Eve has a background in teaching Psychology and has been involved in mentoring for her whole career. She has a lifetime of lived experience of neurodiversity. Outside of ASM, Eve works as a life coach and mentor.

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Gené Wyrley-Birch, Employment Consultant

Gené is committed to raising awareness and understanding of ASC to improve social inclusion, acceptance and understanding; to making a real difference to the lives of people on the autism spectrum and in broader society. Over the past 12 years, while caring for and advocating for her son, Gené has developed an in-depth knowledge and understanding of autism as well as related challenges including ADHD, PDA, Social Communication Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder. She has a creative, positive and flexible approach and is determined to combined her personal and professional experiences to help clients into work and successfully retain their jobs. Throughout her previous roles in both Investment Banking at JP Morgan and UBS Warburg and Commercial Conferencing, Gené had an active role in recruiting, training and mentoring new team members. Gené has worked across many sectors, including Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Defence, Utilities, Aviation and Telecommunication. Gené Holds a BA degree in Industrial & Organisational Sociology and Industrial & Organisational Psychology from the University of Cape Town.

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Georgia Thursting, Employment Consultant

Georgia has worked with autistic adults and children in a variety of settings including education, play and social settings for the past year. As a support worker with Resources for Autism, she continues to support her clients in achieving their personal and work goals and loves to get creative with her approach. Georgia also works for Share Community in Battersea as a music tutor/ therapist, building the confidence of adults through music and artistic expression. She also enjoys planning and delivering online workshops for adults with Autism, focusing on well-being, physical health and emotional expression through music making. Outside of her work in Autism,  is a trained musician, singer/ guitarist and enjoys performing at events across the UK.

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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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Mark Blake, Employment Consultant

Mark has a broad range of experience across social care with several client groups and in varied settings. Following an arts degree he spent a couple of years on voluntary projects with disabled adults living independently, and with homeless men in an emergency night shelter in central London with subsequent paid roles including community support work with disabled adults moving back into the community following long periods in residential hospitals. Mark has also spent time as a residential care worker in adolescent residential units. The last 30 years has seen a focus on Adults and Children with Disabilities in a both a Day Service and Residential Home setting. As a Manager of services in these fields Mark has increasingly focused his support to children and adults on the autistic spectrum and has become keenly aware of the challenges faced by them and their families in achieving independence and realizing their potential. It is this interest that has led to an involvement in a mentoring role with AS mentoring and employment.

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Mike Leat, Employment Consultant

Mike comes from a background in advocacy, design and communication. Through his own business he previously ran an Easy Read design service which employed people with a learning disability and autism. In 2015 he co-produced a DVD on Autism and Mental Health for the Autism Partnership Board in Surrey. Mike previously worked for The National Autistic Society Assist service providing one to one support/mentoring sessions, and facilitating social and support groups for autistic adults. After completing an undergraduate module in autism with The Open University, Mike went on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Asperger syndrome. Mike also works with a project called ‘Autism by Experience’ which is a team of mostly autistic adults providing Understanding Autism training to staff in a variety of roles including health and social care.

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Lauren Moore, Employment Consultant

Lauren has a number of years experience of supporting people with autism as well as additional needs. Her main influence for working with people on the spectrum is her younger sibling who was diagnosed with autism at a young age.  Over the past decade she has worked in a school specifically of young people with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, starting as a Teaching Assistant and then working as the Intervention Co-ordinator for the secondary department. Lauren also worked in a specialist autism college as a Learning and Behaviour Specialist, moving up to become a Learning Support Co-ordinator. She studied History at undergraduate level and has more recently graduated with a Masters in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in July 2018.
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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.