PLEASE NOTE: We are not a crisis service. If you are in crisis and in need of immediate mental health support call NHS 111 option 2 or Samaritans on 116 123, text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 or go to your nearest A&E department.

Governance

Action for Asperger’s (AfA) is a charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (charity number: 1148790).

1. Structure

AfA is governed by a board of trustees. The charity trustees are responsible for the general control and management of the charity. The trustees give their time freely and receive no remuneration or other financial benefits. The trustees meet as a body quarterly and are responsible for all decisions taken in relation to running AfA and the activities provided by the charity.

Day-to-day leadership of the organisation is undertaken by an executive team. Our executive team is led by the Chief Executive Officer, and it also features our Operations Director and Human Resources (HR) Lead.

Below is AfA’s Organisational Chart:

2. Trustees

Dr Max Lowenstein

Dr Max Lowenstein is a law academic, who has autistic spectrum condition, generalized anxiety disorder and depression. He openly acknowledges them to all and passionately works with others to help remove mental health stigma and educate.

Max is an advocate for accessible and inclusive disability services and his legal expertise assists autistic people with employment, educational and publishing enquiries. His consultancy also promotes equality & diversity rights in the UK and globally for all.

Mr Anthony Mathieson

Anthony ‘Tony’ Mathieson has been involved with AfA from the outset. After witnessing Elaine’s personal plight over the years, he didn’t need convincing about AfA and avowed to assist her. He fully believes in, and is behind, what AfA stands for.

Tony is a carpenter by trade and uses his carpentry skills to help with all things construction/maintenance at AfA. He has also been responsible for the Asperger men’s social group, and he completed a basic counselling skills course which has helped him with this.

Ms Sonia Owen

Sonia is a psychology graduate (BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling) and graduate member of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Sonia has diagnoses of Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, depression and generalised anxiety. As someone living with these conditions, who has dealt with some difficult issues with the help of counselling from AfA, she knows the importance of specialist help and is highly passionate about AfA’s objectives and invested in being a part of helping them to continue.

Ms Jane Letts

Jane Letts is from a farming family, and she often helped out on the farm – from driving tractors to doing the farm accounts.Jane studied Law at UEA, Norwich, and qualified as a legal executive. She has worked for local law firms.

From personal experience, Jane has much knowledge and understanding of autism and the difficulties it can present (e.g., obtaining employment/stress/sensory challenges/communication difficulties).  Her desire is to help others affected by autism-related challenges.

Ms Rachel Duffy

Rachel Duffy is a parent/full time carer to her teenage son. He is autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic, and has mental health diagnoses. Her son attended ‘life changing’ counselling with AfA and, wanting to give back, Rachel voulnteered as community fundraiser – before also becoming a trustee.

 

Rachel is passionate about diversity, empowerment and opportunity. She has faced head on the challenges of parenting a child with autism and dedicates time to sharing information and assisting with advocacy within the autism parent community. 

Ms Frances Mackenzie

Frances is an experienced HR and Recruitment Professional. She is company Director for Cubex Contracts Limited and European HR Manager for a global manufacturing company. She is qualified in Coaching and Mentoring, has a CIPD level 5 qualification, holds a BA degree and is a Mental Health First Aider.

 

Frances joined the trustee team at AfA after meeting Elaine at a business networking event and supporting on some fundraising events for the charity. She supports in all matters pertaining to HR, diversity, and inclusion.

Mr Anthony Hall

Anthony Hall is currently working as a Residential Property Manager. He has experience and qualifications in Electrical Installation and Maintenance, AAT Accounts and Payroll, Massage Therapy, Occupational Health and Safety, Fire Safety and Risk Management, and Building and Facilities Management.

 

After a late Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis, he became a trustee of Action for Asperger’s and as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is happy to offer help and advice to AfA counsellors who may be helping JW clients.

3. Patrons

  • Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE, RDI

British Fashion Designer and Businesswoman known for her uniqueness and individuality. 

  • Mr Scott James

Inspirational autistic singer and 2009 X Factor contestant.

  • Ms Barbara Jacobs

Journalist, broadcaster, researcher, lecturer, national agony aunt and author of ‘Loving Mr Spock’ about living with a partner who has Asperger’s syndrome.

  • Mr Gary Numan

Solo Musician and frontman of the band Tubeway Army who has Asperger’s syndrome.

  • Ms Donna Taggart

Acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter with a background working with children on the autism spectrum.