Information Officer: Carol Detheridge

Carol DetheridgeI have been with the organisation part-time since June 2008 and undertaking my current role as Information Officer since November 2010. The role is part of the Communications, Policy and Research Directorate at Ambitious about Autism.

As with many roles in the organisation, no two days are the same. It is a key part of the role to be able to be responsive to all enquiries, both internal and external.

We receive a steady stream of emails on daily basis to our info@ email address, whilst a lot of them are promoting products or events there are emails from parents and families looking for some form of support or information. The requests vary greatly and I either respond directly or forward the email to the relevant member of staff to take forward.

I also get phone calls from parents and families, often after the receipt of a diagnosis of autism or if a school placement is not working. It is vital to listen carefully and ensure the caller feels they have received some value in turning to us.

It is important that we have up to date information to respond to enquiries, I am currently reviewing the list we hold on our website of ‘Useful Organisations’ to ensure it is accurate and the organisations are ones we know.

As well as information held electronically I manage a library of resources in the office. A recent volunteer has started the process of cataloguing the publications and reports so we can make them available for all staff to use. I enjoyed supporting the volunteer who was undertaking a two week period of work experience to help build their confidence in office and social situations.

My day may also include supporting the web team when we are holding live Q and A’s in the Talk About Autism community, it was very exciting to be involved in the session with Temple Grandin on her recent visit.

There are often opportunities to be involved in activities in the wider team including the recent Annual Lecture and the Professional Conference.

Working at Ambitious about Autism gives me a real sense of purpose as we see on a daily basis how important our work and the work of TreeHouse School is. It is also a pleasure to work with such committed colleagues from a diverse range of professions and disciplines.

I hope that has given you a flavour of the types of duties that can fill my day and we mustn’t forget the important task of drinking coffee.