Identifying & Promoting Opportunities for all

Finding and developing the genius in us all

Our team:

Sara-Louise Ackrill

 

Consultant

Sara-Louise Ackrill has worked in inclusion, employability, recruitment and training. She also spent over 15 years working in high-end hospitality, in the UK and France. Sara was diagnosed with ASD in 2016 at the age of 38. She is a former caseload manager and safeguarding lead on the government Work Programme (Cheltenham), managing a caseload of over 300 claimants with long-term disabilities and health conditions. She went on to run a social enterprise for three years that supported vulnerable people with their work search, benefits claims and health conditions. Away from her work for The Kimel Foundation, she is the Founder of Wired Differently, a company that develops products and services for neurodivergent people and is a practicing counsellor and coach.

“Sara excels at preparing people with a wide range of disabilities for work. She uses innovative ways of engaging and motivating people towards the workplace. When I worked with her, Sara introduced a workshop called 7 Words. It was an absolute triumph. I would describe it as a personal development course. The results were obvious, with clients who could previously barely sit in a group, queuing up to attend their next workshop!… Sara also has a passion for quality signposting and helping clients to obtain grants for everyday essentials.” FJ, former Work Programme Office Manager.

Chris Pape

 

Employability Skills Mentor

I have always been inspired by the freshness and diversity of young people so when I trained as a teacher I took a youth work course and a counselling course alongside it.

As a teacher I always taught in special schools- with children who struggled to fit in or had extra difficulties, but eventually I turned to youth work full time.

My favourite type of youth work was streetwork- being outside in the parks and street corners with the young people who did not want to be in a youth centre or who struggled to fit in.

My husband and I fostered teenagers for many years and learnt so much about their emotional and social needs. Eventually I went on to train foster carers.

My youth work led to me being employed by the Council to offer social and emotional support to young people who could not attend school for various reasons- again they were my teachers!  

This project developed into setting up a market stall and eventually a shop as we realised this group seldom went on to get qualifications or employment but retreated into their bedrooms.
This shop is run by these young people- they gain the skills to get interviews and the confidence to attend them! They come to  believe they are valuable and have things to offer – they form friendships and come to believe they have a place in society.

This is my aim for all

Pat Meadowcroft

 

Youth  engagement

Hi my name is Pat.

My first love has always been gymnastics, I loved being a gymnast when I was younger and now, I have turned my love for the sport into a passion for coaching gymnastics to children.

One of my children has ASD so raising him has given me an insight into how strange and confusing the world of ASD can be. Yet it has also shown me the beauty and fun that can be had when looking at life through a different lens.

From me, you can expect a patient listener who enjoys hearing your stories, your likes and dislikes and someone who ultimately wants to understand you. I am looking forward to hearing all about the strengths you have and encouraging you to find your potential.

I am looking forward to meeting you.

Nic Lander

 

Founder & Director

Nic is the owner of Willy Wonka Travel, the only certified Autism Travel professional in the UK.

He’s worked in travel for over 30 years as a concierge in London. He won an Acorn Award aged 25 and was the first concierge in the UK to receive this award, which is for young aspiring hotel staff and recognises the brightest prospects in the hospitality industry.

He was one of the youngest concierges to be appointed onto the executive committee of the Le Clefs d’Or (The Golden Keys) for Great Britain and the Commonwealth.

His mission is to make all types of travel accessible to people with additional needs.

He has a family diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) so his first hand experience of living with autism paired with years in the travel industry enables him to offer this unique service because he understands the details that make a difference.

Volunteering at Share Wokingham a Zero waste food project helping to elevate food poverty in Wokingham, also allowed him to look to open a zero food waste community café to give young people valuable work experience

Dr Mohan Singh Chawala

Consultant Psychiatrist

Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, India.

MBBS in 1984 and General Practice for 3 years.

MD Psychiatry in 1989

August 1991 moved to UK as Psychiatrist.

Worked in NHS for 20 years and now working for American private company Elysium since March 2020, a  low secure female in-patient unit helping women with various mental health problems and where self-harm is associated.

Ruhi Shukla

Psychologist & mental health support worker

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology honours and will be taking a Master’s degree from the University of St Andrews in September 2021.

My career aspiration is to become a renown Clinical Psychologist, where I play a pivotal role in shaping and transforming the mental health community.

I have been associated with the field of Mental Health for 6 years, learning the importance of its Okay to be Okayn’t.  I am currently working as a mental health support worker at a local hospital providing best care practices and support.

Chris Richards

 

Director

Chris Richards was formerly project manager for a housing charity. 

Prior to that he worked in the UK, Germany & Australia as a dental surgeon owning three practices for 40 years before retiring.  He was trained by the University of Oxford Postgraduate Medical Department as a mentor to help struggling medics & dentists and was an advisor to local healthcare trusts in the south of England.

He found that retirement didn’t agree with him and so entered the charity sector and is involved with the day to day running of BEC, a Leicester based charity finding employment for those on the autistic spectrum.

He specialises in implementing the results of research turning theory into practical applications.