Our Trustees

Our trustees dedicate their time to guiding the charity

Andy King

Andy has spent 40 years in retail and brings a range of commercial and business experience which he hopes will benefit the charity and enable it to achieve its goals. Andy has a daughter living with autism so has lived experience and is passionate about enabling children and adults to fulfil their potential.

Emma Williams

Emma comes with both professional and personal experience of autism. She has a keen interest in enabling people to reach their full potential and develop skills in their local community, particularly in the area of employment and training. She is excited about the development of the Futures programme.

Hugh Dampney

Hugh's aspirations for Autism Unlimited are to support the staff to ensure that the people we support continue to be well looked-after, and develop their potential as far as they can.

James Brazier

James is enthusiastic, empathetic and proactive in his approach, and his vision for Autism Unlimited is to support the charity externally and help Autism Unlimited to grow in both stature and size.

James Sturman

Trustee - With over 30 years of finance and management experience I would like to take this skillset and use for the benefit of the charity and the young people it helps in order to achieve its goals and ambitions.

Jan Thurgood

Jan joined Autism Unlimited as a Trustee in July 2022. She brings experience of autism though her career in children's and adult social services and her personal life. She is passionate about enabling children and adults to fulfil their potential and about providing the best possible support and development opportunities to staff.

Julie Shield

Julie is determined, proactive and passionate about the potential for Autism Unlimited, and brings real-world experience and understanding of autism to her role. Julie’s vision is to represent the parent voice and help the charity fulfil its potential.

Lesley Longstone - Chair of Trustees

Trustee - Lesley brings a range of policy experience in children and young people’s issues, including education, health and youth policy. She has substantial board experience through her work with another charity working with autistic people, and having been Chief Executive of a regulator in the health sector is familiar with the highly regulated environment within which Autism Unlimited operates. Most importantly, she cares deeply about every child, young person and adult having the opportunity to enjoy life to the full.

Melanie Foster

I am very much looking forward to contributing to the valuable work of Autism Unlimited and taking on the role of trustee. I began my career as a special educational needs teacher in Inner London and continued my passion in leading SEND within both Local Authorities and Charities. I have been part of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism as Eduction Development Lead with the National Autistic Society and a member of the The National Special Educational Needs and Disability Forum attended by the DfE. I have always been passionate about people and purpose and committed to social justice to enable all students to feel valued, safe and secure. I live in Hertfordshire, and although semi-retired, continue to work with schools and Local Authorities, particularly focusing on developing autistic provision. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family.

Andy King

Andy has spent 40 years in retail and brings a range of commercial and business experience which he hopes will benefit the charity and enable it to achieve its goals. Andy has a daughter living with autism so has lived experience and is passionate about enabling children and adults to fulfil their potential.

Emma Williams

Emma comes with both professional and personal experience of autism. She has a keen interest in enabling people to reach their full potential and develop skills in their local community, particularly in the area of employment and training. She is excited about the development of the Futures programme.

Hugh Dampney

Hugh's aspirations for Autism Unlimited are to support the staff to ensure that the people we support continue to be well looked-after, and develop their potential as far as they can.

James Brazier

James is enthusiastic, empathetic and proactive in his approach, and his vision for Autism Unlimited is to support the charity externally and help Autism Unlimited to grow in both stature and size.

James Sturman

Trustee - With over 30 years of finance and management experience I would like to take this skillset and use for the benefit of the charity and the young people it helps in order to achieve its goals and ambitions.

Jan Thurgood

Jan joined Autism Unlimited as a Trustee in July 2022. She brings experience of autism though her career in children's and adult social services and her personal life. She is passionate about enabling children and adults to fulfil their potential and about providing the best possible support and development opportunities to staff.

Julie Shield

Julie is determined, proactive and passionate about the potential for Autism Unlimited, and brings real-world experience and understanding of autism to her role. Julie’s vision is to represent the parent voice and help the charity fulfil its potential.

Lesley Longstone - Chair of Trustees

Trustee - Lesley brings a range of policy experience in children and young people’s issues, including education, health and youth policy. She has substantial board experience through her work with another charity working with autistic people, and having been Chief Executive of a regulator in the health sector is familiar with the highly regulated environment within which Autism Unlimited operates. Most importantly, she cares deeply about every child, young person and adult having the opportunity to enjoy life to the full.

Melanie Foster

I am very much looking forward to contributing to the valuable work of Autism Unlimited and taking on the role of trustee. I began my career as a special educational needs teacher in Inner London and continued my passion in leading SEND within both Local Authorities and Charities. I have been part of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism as Eduction Development Lead with the National Autistic Society and a member of the The National Special Educational Needs and Disability Forum attended by the DfE. I have always been passionate about people and purpose and committed to social justice to enable all students to feel valued, safe and secure. I live in Hertfordshire, and although semi-retired, continue to work with schools and Local Authorities, particularly focusing on developing autistic provision. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family.

A vital role

Our trustees are our 'guardians of purpose', making sure that all the decisions we make put the needs of autistic people first. They also safeguard the assets of Autism Unlimited – both physical assets, including property, and intangible ones, such as our reputation.

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