Autism Wessex is governed by our Board of Trustees. Their primary purpose is to promote Autism Wessex, uphold our vision, protect our assets and funds, and ensure that we comply with legislation and regulation.

Adrian Trevett

We welcomed Adrian to our Board of Trustees in 2017.

Adrian currently works full time delivering UK & Global business projects and has extensive experience working for large complex private and public sector organisations. As a result, he’s developed many high-level strategic and operational skills which he hopes will benefit the work of Autism Wessex.

Adrian’s aspiration for Autism Wessex is to not only provide excellent support and care to people in the local community affected by autism but to also be seen as a sector leader.

Bob Gilbertson

Bob enjoyed a successful career as a GP for 31 years before he retired in 2011. During his career Bob trained medical students and GP’s. He was a founding member of the Christchurch Community Partnership.

Bob joined Autism Wessex as a Trustee in 2011. Bob’s medical expertise and personal experience of autism motivates him to help Autism Wessex be at the forefront of best practice in understanding about autism. His ambition for the Charity is to apply that understanding in the provision of high quality support.

Bob hopes to help facilitate greater opportunities and engagement for people with autism within their local communities.

Chris Page

Chris joined the Board of Trustees in 1995 and has been involved since the 1970’s when his son attended Portfield School.

Chris worked for many years in the shipping agency services and general commerce in the Middle East developing a vast insight into general business practices.

Chris’s personal experience of autism is the driving force behind his desire to help the Charity develop its expertise in educating and caring for people affected by autism. Chris’s aspiration for Autism Wessex is to help children and adults on the autism spectrum develop and cope with the world around them so they can live as full lives as possible.

Fiona Fox

Fiona joined our Board of Trustees in 2017.

As a HR professional with over 8 years’ experience, Fiona has a passion for embedding a positive culture, maximising staff development and improving social mobility. She aspires to use these strategies to help the Charity improve their processes for the benefit of the people who receive support.

As an avid fundraiser herself, Fiona understands the importance of raising awareness of the work of Autism Wessex and hopes that the Charity gains respect nationally as a leading provider in supporting those affected by autism.

Fiona comments; “I believe that the more awareness we can raise around autism, the better. Children and adults with autism in our area need Autism Wessex’s services, and I want to see Autism Wessex recommended as a best-in-class provider of these services.”

Joan Dampney 

Joan has worked with Autism Wessex since 1973, when she became Deputy Head Teacher of Portfield School, a position she occupied until 1980. Joan’s career then saw her involved in the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy where she continued to work closely with children on the autism spectrum. 

Joan became a Governor of Portfield School in 1996 and a Trustee of Autism Wessex in 2002. Joan hopes that increased knowledge will lead to more and more acceptance and opportunities for people with autism. 

Malcolm Farrell

Malcolm brings a variety of personal qualities and experience to Autism Wessex. He hopes that his ability and dedication to project management, budget control and long term planning will help the organisation grow and support more individuals affected by autism.

Malcolm lives in Poole, where he is a local councillor, with his partner and enjoys spending time with his family and watching his beloved AFC Bournemouth. He’s passionate about making a difference in his local community.

Malcolm joined our Board of Trustees in 2017 and hopes to help the Charity promote awareness and understanding of autism.

Martin James

Having worked in Human Resources Management in a large multinational corporation for the past 30 years, Martin brings a wealth of experience to Autism Wessex. His background focuses heavily on change management and the improvement of business processes to create a sustainable and empowered workforce.

Martin joined our Board of Trustees in 2017 and is looking forward to utilising his skills to help Autism Wessex grow and develop in a challenging environment.

Martin’s aspirations for Autism Wessex are to not only to increase the understanding of autism and the impact it can have on those affected but also to ensure that the Charity continues to provide the support and advice people need.

Mary Claire Boyd

Chair of Trustees

Mary Claire became a Trustee of Autism Wessex in 2001 and was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2005. Charity. Her personal experience of autism has given Mary Claire a deep understanding of and insight into issues faced by families on a daily basis.

An experienced Show Director for an international events company, Mary Claire also works full time and is responsible for delivering six national events a year at Olympia and Excel in London and the NEC in Birmingham.

Additionally, Mary Claire is a current Governor of a special school in East Dorset and Chair of the Curriculum Committee of that school. This experience has helped broaden Mary Claire’s understanding of the special educational needs sector.

Mary Claire comments; “I believe I bring an understanding of the world of autism, and my own experience underpins my passion and commitment to Autism Wessex It is essential that we continually strive to be better at what we do, and to evolve and develop as an organisation of excellence.”

Mike Leese

We welcomed Mike to our Board of Trustees in 2017. His overall goal is to help the Charity raise awareness of autism and associated difficulties with the additional view of being a parent of an individual we support.

Mike was previously a national newspaper journalist for 25 years. He spent most of his career at the London Evening Standard where he was news editor.

Ten years ago Mike took the opportunity to go freelance and worked in the corporate sector alongside communications and marketing teams. Among the issues he was involved in were health campaigns, sales drives and reviewing methods of corporate messaging to stakeholders.

In the last couple of years Mike has pursued a life-long ambition to write and has self-published two fiction books on Amazon. They feature an autistic detective, Jonathan Roper, and challenge the idea that being on the spectrum will always be a barrier to success.

Paul McGee

Paul has been a Trustee of Autism Wessex since 2005 and was the Chair of Governors at Portfield School between 2011 and 2013.

Paul has extensive professional experience in the education sector, working as a teacher of Maths and Computing in inner London before becoming Chief Inspector of Schools in Croydon.

Paul then spent 14 years as a Chief Officer in Bexley becoming Director of Education and Leisure. Paul led the way in school re-organisation and was closely involved in the establishment of the UKs first Academy.

In addition Paul was Founding Director of Prospects and Vice Chair of the Board and Senior Independent Director, providing tailored education, employment, training and services.

Paul’s passion is to help others achieve their potential and assist Autism Wessex to be the best it can be. 

Autism Wessex is registered in England & Wales under charity number 1000792 at Charity Hub, Portfield School, Parley Lane, Christchurch, BH23 6BP. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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