Meet The Team

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Dr Annie Clements (Hons)

CEO of Autism & ADHD

Annie founded this social enterprise here in Ipswich to support those living or working with Autism and ADHD. It is a thriving organisation that offers practical advice, support, and training. Since its inception, it has supported thousands of people with Autism and ADHD, their families, and professionals.

Annie’s association with Autism started long before the company was founded as back in 1993, Annie’s son Tom was born. At that time, very little was known about Autism and most people diagnosed with it were placed in long-term, residential institutions away from their families and out of sight of social communities. Annie was determined that this was not going to happen to Tom and so alongside her husband, Peter, became part of the first generation of parents who fought not only against exclusion and segregation but also for the recognition of rights of their sons and daughters with Autism.

Tom’s diagnosis was a catalyst for change in the Clements household. Somehow, they had become members of an exclusive club that they neither recognised nor applied to join. Hungry to learn anything and everything she could about Autism, Annie immersed herself within the world of special educational needs and disability, fighting for the rights of her own son and other disabled children and young people. She became actively involved with the Local and County Councils and the National Autistic Society and was soon involved in setting up initiatives that enabled parent’s voices to be heard and effective parent partnerships created.

Annie has never been one to conform to societal norms. If she sees a problem, she will try and fix it. If she sees a barrier, she will try to remove it or find a way around it. Applying the same drive and enthusiasm with regard to challenging the norm, she began to break down social barriers for people with Autism. Tirelessly, she drives projects forward, making significant differences in thousands of people’s lives, not just here in Suffolk, but nationally and internationally. Her energy, enthusiasm and passion knows no boundaries, and according to her husband, if Annie joins a project, within 6 months, she’ll be running it!

Annie’s background knowledge in marketing, business and banking has supported her to establish and shape the Social Enterprise, Autism and ADHD. Harbouring ideas of setting up a company that offered support, resolved problems and broke down social barriers faced by those with Autism, their families and those working in the sector, she signed up for a 1 year course at the Easter Enterprise Hub at the University of Suffolk which she attended one day a week.

Not having a plan, but finding herself surrounded by ‘can do’ people, she was positively encouraged to set up a Social Enterprise. Much hard work and determination paid off and Autism and ADHD soon became a reality. Working with purpose, the company gained local recognition and very quickly went from strength to strength, winning a local Community Action Suffolk award and then a National Award for a youth project ‘We have a Voice’. This was a pivotal moment for the enterprise as it became a national and international platform for Autism and ADHD, the roots of which were built firmly on local and personal knowledge.

Annie now works regularly in an advisory capacity with families, in schools, colleges and universities alongside other professionals who support children and young people with Autism. She has worked with the Armed Forces, has been involved in research projects and been regular visitor and keynote speaker here at the University of Suffolk, the University of Essex and at International conferences. She has also been invited to consult with Lego as a play expert and was invited to a Garden Party to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her Youth Work at a Third Sector Charity Day.

She is in meetings with CEO’s from internationally renowned companies such as Lego, Colgate, ETSY, The New York Times and Oxfam, she pinches herself, wondering what on earth she has done to gain a place at that particular table. She is bold. She is not afraid to step outside of the norm. She takes risks, makes the journey, embraces difference and never shies away from a challenge. She believes that change begins with the courage to acknowledge reality and her passion and integrity know no bounds. 

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Daniel Lee Harvey

 

Client Support Worker & Co-Director of Autism & ADHD

Marketing, Events & Media Manager




 

Daniel Lee Harvey's background is made up of working within the creative sectors, youth/community engagement, social inclusion, politics, education and mental health. He has a lot of key experience around supporting nuero-diverse young people and adults in multiple settings. Daniel has ADHD himself and has friends and family who are also on the spectrum.   

Daniel currently sits on the executive parliamentary panel for Disability Labour which enables him to use his advocacy to shine a continuous spotlight on the support framework in place for our community.

Daniel has spent over 10 years of his life working with multiple charities, services and groups that are responsible for raising the overall aspirations of disengaged young people. His input has helped to develop and lead change not just locally but on a national level with a particular foci on cultural identity and empowerment. 

Daniel also has a very strong background in music, events and journalism. From co-ordinating and editing a global arts & music publication that went on to be a launchpad for budding writers to hone their craft to steering events and festivals both physically and virtually. Daniel's big thing has always been creativity and very recently, he did a video on the Autism & ADHD facebook page around how creativity helps with problem solving and adapting to difficult situations. Daniel very much advocates the power behind it when managing his own health too.

 

In May 2020, he put together a global music festival for Autism and ADHD in under a week with an incredible line up of artists to help raise funds for the telephone line system. With the support of our community and the wider network of friends and families, the target was smashed. Daniel launched a second music festival due to the feedback from the last which was also a great success. He feels that it's important to make opportunities accessible for all and wishes to continue making room for others to be very much a part of the conversation too. 

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Michelle Chisholm

Client Support Manager

 

Hi my name is Michelle and I am a mum to 3 children 2 of which are formally diagnosed on the spectrum with Autism / ADHD and Irlen's Syndrome. I also have a beautiful grandchild. 

 

My Role at Autism and ADHD is Client Support Manager. I started working for Autism and ADHD in April 2018 having previously been a client myself who struggled with challenging behaviours such as school refusal, running away, self-harm, drug and alcohol misuse. Since 2018, I have studied Autism and ADHD and now have a sound understanding both personally and professionally. I am friendly, understanding and non-judgemental and I totally understand that need to talk to others who just get it. 

 

I have personal experience of applying for EHCP plans, mediation meetings, specialist school settings and supported housing.  

 

Fact about myself – On a bad day, my spellings are so bad even spell check struggles to understand what I want to write.