Identifying & Promoting Opportunities for all

Finding and developing the genius in us all

Our team:

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

Nick Colbourn

Director

Nick was the founder and managing director of Soltech Systems, a window blind manufacturer and installer which is allied to commercial fit out services in the UK and Europe. Having established Soltech in 1987, Nick saw the company grow in size and reputation, leaving it as a market leader when he sold the business and retired in 2018.

Over the years, Nick has fundraised for local community projects, particularly supporting charities involved with homelessness. He also served as school governor at The Emmbrook School. He is an enthusiastic and regular tennis player, enjoys walking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

Makena Lai

 

Malaysian Consultant

I am Makena from Malaysia and of Thai, Portuguese & native Baba Nyonya Malaysian parentage. My experience as a American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH) Certified Hypnotherapist using therapeutic script or virtual arts such as Expressive Arts, Expressive Sandwork, Metaphoric card under the Faculty of Social Science & Humanities are what will ensure my success to allows special needs students / neurodivergent people to bring out their special talent, abilities, confidence and help them in social skill including independent living and also to face challenges with the delayed development in academy.

I have worked with a diverse range of emotional, physical and cultural backgrounds. More importantly because of my patience, loving personality and attentiveness to details as a Therapist and active community service facilitator and volunteer sport coach history, I connect well with parents. I am able to relate to all circumstances rather than become emotional, I take a proactive problem solving approach. Through this strong relationship with parents, I recognize quickly the accuracy and efficacy of assessments.

In addition to teaching, I provide therapy behaviour and Health & Image consultant services to other public  schools, conduct training and work collaboratively with teachers, parents, aides and support staff. In this capacity, I have gained a broader understanding for how public and non-public interact to best serve the needs of the neurodivergent people.

I am a true lifelong learner. I love to teach and learn, especially from kids and my daughter who is a co-morbid. As such, I was especially excited to pursue my mission and calling in life to the next level and further enhance my ability to be a bridge between special education students and the successful academic careers they deserve.

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.