En-Fold is a growing charitable incorporated organisation
Providing what we consider to be an essential service to the community that's impacted by autism...
We believe all people deserve an equal chance to flourish. To achieve this, we act as system navigators ensuring bespoke and better support, better communication and connecting people to the right organisations and resources.
We recognise that going through the diagnostic pathway as an adult is a long and challenging process, often resulting in more questions and answers. For parents and carers of children and young people, it can be a time where they get lost in the diagnostic system and are often confused and isolated after the process has ended.
We want to ensure that all children, via support to their parents, can access the best services, information and support for them. We also want to ensure all individuals receiving a diagnosis in adulthood, find the right information and support.
Our organisation is born out of lived experience, which continues to be the central focus of how we operate. Our founder journeyed through life to adulthood, often confused and wondering how she fitted into the world. The social rules, the humour, the unpredictability that all too often exists has baffled her for many years. With three children, both of her beautiful girls on the Spectrum, they are further fuel to the desire for her to see that the world of Autism is understood.
The En-Fold Logo:
"As the founder of En-Fold, I take full responsibility for the logo we have used so far in our journey. I am an autistic person and I can say genuinely why it worked for me.
For me, the story or meaning behind the previous logo is…
• The heart – symbolizing that love and acceptance of all is the essence of what we believe in.
• The puzzle shape – all of us are individual and unique, just as neurotypical people are all unique.
• Connecting piece – We want to ensure everyone has access to all the information / support they need.
However, the puzzle piece has a very different meaning to many autistic people. Having its origins in an organisation who considered Autism a ‘puzzling condition’, or references to a ‘missing piece’, is not something we want to be connected with.
For this reason, we have engaged with the local Autistic community, through our Facebook page, through our Young person Autism Advisory Project (YAAP), the adult Autism Advisory Panel (AAP) through NHFT, and the Spectrum club parents and carers. We collaborated, and produced a number of options which were put to vote, with a clear winner:
We thank all those who have got involved in this, and I believe the new logo still reflects the key elements of our value base.
We ask for your patience as we set about the task of updating all of our branded documents, which we will do as quickly as we can."
The En-Fold Team
Diane Johnson (Founder and CEO)
Diane has a wealth of knowledge and experience in disability and a passion for supporting families. Training includes a degree in youth and community development and a further BTEC level 4 in voluntary sector management, additional workshops, and conferences with a specific disability focus and a Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Autism.
Previous roles have included being a foster carer with all the accompanying training, a voluntary sector infrastructure support advisor, a team leader for a day centre for adults with LD, and a project coordinator for SCOPE supporting families with children with disabilities.
Diane also has previous experience of setting up a charity and a good eye for detail and planning. Having been approached by a group of parents of children with High Functioning Autism, Diane was instrumental in this and sourced funds to enable family days out. This group has now been running for 10 years, with regular monthly meetings and school holiday activities for the whole family.
As a parent of two girls with Autism, Diane has a real understanding and empathy of the challenges parents face in navigating the system, with a particular interest in the female presentation. Diane herself has Asperger's. While this poses certain challenges, it also brings a real insight, determination, and drive to the role.
Eleanor Jeans (Trustee - Vice Chair)
Eleanor Jeans is an ordained Church of England priest. She has previously worked in education as a violin teacher and for churches as a schools and children's worker and music director. Eleanor's leadership role in the Church ensures a strong pastoral and people management grounding, with a deep understanding of and frequent contact with vulnerable community members. Eleanor has a particular passion for supporting those who are single.
Ruth Webster (Trustee)
Ruth is a mum of twin boys, one of whom has cerebral palsy. She became involved with En-fold having received support first hand from Diane, who helped as they spent three years navigating the health service to achieve all of their son's diagnosis. Ruth wanted to give something back and help other families access the right help in the timeliest ways possible. Ruth brings the experience of strategy and policy from working over fifteen years in public services.
Lauren McAllister (Trustee - Acting Chair)
Dr Lauren McAllister is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Northampton, where she is the Programme Lead for the MSc in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Lauren specialises in teaching on diverse childhoods, with a particular interest in Autism. Both Lauren and her daughter are autistic. Lauren, therefore, offers experience from a lived and theoretical perspective, guiding En-Fold’s research strategy.
Stephen Cole (Trustee)
Having spent over twenty years specialising in commercial dispute resolution and litigation, Stephen practises as a solicitor in Northampton advising charities and social enterprises. He was previously a governor in a community special school. Stephen brings a legal perspective to En-Fold's activities and governance as well as constitutional and regulatory matters. He is committed to the innovative work of En-Fold of providing support and advice which in many instances are not available elsewhere.
Mike Williams (Staff - Project Worker)
In 2020 Mike, at 35 years old, was late diagnosed with ASC and received support from Diane and En-Fold. En-Fold was a lifeline of support for him. Their work has given him the drive to positively impact the autistic community as En-Fold has had on him. With his professional experience within Hospitality Management and Training/Coaching, Mike has a passion for facilitating environments that enable people to learn, understand and develop themselves. He initially joined the Board of Trustees to utilise his lived experience and skills to support others and help the autistic voice be heard clearer and louder than ever before, and is now a Project Worker for En-Fold.
Tracy Vials (Staff - Project Worker & Volunteer Lead)
Tracy is mum to an Autistic adult son and self-diagnosed as being on the spectrum in 2021 at the age of 58. She was a primary school teacher for over twenty years, with experience as an Inclusion Leader and has an insider's knowledge of the education system. Tracy joined En-Fold initially as a mentor/befriender in 2020, then became a Trustee, before becoming a Project Worker & Volunteer Lead. She is passionate about using her lived experience to advocate for Autistic individuals and particularly parents and carers of Autistic children.
Bee Manners (Staff - Peer Support Worker)
Bee is a neurodiverse woman who is fascinated by all things autism and ADHD. She has worked for the last 20 years in the education sector as a Class Teacher, initially in mainstream education but has spent the last 7 years teaching in a SpecialProvision School for students on the Autism Spectrum - being a lead for ‘MentalHealth and Well-Being’ as well as subject co-ordinator for ‘Sex & Relationships Education.’ She is mum to an incredible ‘Aspergirl’ who inspires her each and every day, always encouraging her to find the fun in life! Bee has a particular passion for Neurodiversity, Mental Health conditions, Psychology and Forensics. She describes herself as an ‘Outgoing Introvert!’
Rachel Pickering (Staff - Peer Support Worker)
Rachel’s interest in Autism has been inspired by her son. He was diagnosed with ASC at age 10 and is now a young adult. Supporting him throughout his life has driven Rachel to want to be able to help and support other young people and their families. She initially got involved with En-Fold through volunteering as a mentor/befriender. She is now really happy to be working as a Peer Support Worker and hopes to be able to make a real difference to young people’s lives.
Lisa Hurst (Staff - Project & Participation Worker)
Lisa has a background in Youth Participation, and has worked for the last 12 years in Children's Social care supporting a wide range of families including those with Autism, and often families with complex needs. She has a passion for co-production of services, and a particular interest in barriers to school attendance, masking and the PDA profile of Autism. She is a Mum of 2 amazing Autistic children, and now self identifies as Autistic following her journey to understand and access support for her children's needs. She is delighted to be working for En-fold and hopes to help other families, and individuals embrace their Autistic identities. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, gym sessions, running, crafts, and music festivals.
Fiona Jones (Staff - Project Worker)
Fiona has 2 autistic children and since being involved with En-Fold has started exploring her own neurodivergence. She first met En-Fold as a parent and was fortunate enough to go through the support servcie with Diane. This made such a difference to their lives and she's now thrilled to be providing this service herself. She has always worked with children and families, in primary education and various aspects of childcare; supporting young people is now her passion. She also loves being outside, walking, and looking after her little menagerie, human and animal!
Rob Addams (Trustee)
Rob is autistic and is also the proud dad of 2 young boys who may well be autistic too. Diagnosed late, Rob has life experience of growing up autistic in an unsupported and unaccepted environment and is keen to prevent others from experiencing that by spreading support for autistic people and autism awareness. Rob is an IT specialist and brings many years of IT knowledge to En-Fold's activities.
Kit Nicholas (Peer Support Worker)
Kit has a background in health and social care. After starting out as a support worker for autistic school leavers with learning disabilities, they went on to train as a Speech and Language Therapist due to witnessing how much communication barriers impact on autistic people's everyday lives. They received their own autism diagnosis in adulthood and gained further personal insights into the barriers autistic people face accessing services. They joined En-Fold after coming in contact through the county Autism Champion Network and seeing that En-Fold's vision matched their own. They are passionate about autism acceptance, including supporting communication diversity, LGBTQIA inclusion, and building community.
Read more about Kit, Autism and Pride HERE
Ruth Woodings (Trustee - Finance)
Ruth never really knew what she wanted to be when she grew up, so she's done lots of things. Employers have included the Financial Times, NatWest, the nuclear industry, international engineering companies, a big-name PR firm and a national charity - all the obvious choices for a drama graduate. These days she works part time from home supporting largely neurodivergent children in an administrative and pastoral role for an independent education provider. Ruth has two autistic children, both brilliant and with extra neurospicey ingredients.
Cara Amalfitano (Trustee)
Cara was born and bred in Northamptonshire and jumped at the opportunity to get stuck in and lend her expertise to a local charity giving essential support to the autistic community. Cara has a background in law and policy, during the day working as an in-house generalist lawyer. Outside of the corporate world, she loves to keep active and balances all the running with her even greater love of food and baking. She also has a genuine interest in well-being and firmly believes that being our authentic selves brings out the best in us all.
A massive thank you to our generous sponsors:
© 2023 En-Fold. All Rights Reserved.
We are registered as a charity in England and Wales (1180998)
En-Fold, 15 St Giles Street, Northampton, NN1 1JA
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Disclaimer: En-Fold does not endorse treatments, interventions and therapies but lists them so people can make informed choice. This site is for information purposes only and is a starting point for readers to look into options that may fit or resonate. Remember, therapies for autism, like any condition, should be discussed with a trusted medical practitioner or certified therapist before use. All information, data and material contained, presented or provided here is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinions of En-Fold, or as providing legal or medical advice. All treatment decisions should be made by the individual in consultation with a health care provider. Case studies provided are done so in good faith, and based on the personal experience of the individual submitting them. En-Fold are in no way endorsing the establishments that are mentioned but offering peer reviews to inform readers.