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Executive Team

Through the Chief Executive, the Executive Leadership Team reports to the Board of Trustees.

Vivienne Berkeley profile image

Vivienne Berkeley

Director of Education

Viv joined Ambitious about Autism in May 2014. She has spent the last 22 years working in the further education (FE) sector in various guises - volunteer,  lecturer, coordinator, manager and Head of Department. Her experience is across the sector – FE colleges, Local Authorities, Universities and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Viv is motivated by social justice, social inclusion and equality and always works from this value base. 

Jolanta Lasota profile image

Jolanta Lasota

Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism

Jolanta is Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism and the Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust as well as the Accounting Officer for the Trust. She Chairs the Autism Education Trust, a partnership funded by the Department for Education to improve educational access, experience, and outcomes for children and young people with autism. She also Chairs the PBS Alliance, a cross-sector body dedicated to improving the quality of life for people whose behaviour may challenge those providing services and support. She is part of the Expert Advisory Group for the Civil Service Disability Engagement Group. Her career includes Director roles in national voluntary sector organisations, including I CAN and the Governance Hub (a national body set up to support the governance of the third sector). She is a parent of an autistic child.

Paul Breckell

Deputy Chief Executive and Company Secretary

Paul is the Deputy Chief Executive and Company Secretary at Ambitious about Autism. Prior to this, he was the Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss from 2012-2018. He is the Honorary Treasurer of NCVO and a past Chair of the Disability Charities Consortium and of Charity Finance Group. He is a passionate advocate for volunteering and social change.

Danae Leaman-Hill

Danae Leaman-Hill

Director of Fundraising and Development

Danae joined Ambitious about Autism in September 2017 as Director of Fundraising. She is responsible for delivering our ambitious strategy, leading the fundraising team and helping to develop our highest level partnerships to achieve even greater impact and guide our fundraising to new heights. 

Helen spice - Interim Director of Finance and Planning

Helen Spice

Interim Director of Finance and Planning

Helen Spice joined Ambitious about Autism in September 2021 as Interim Director of Finance and Planning. Helen is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has a 35-year career in the corporate, health and social care and not for profit sectors.  She has held a number of senior positions; most recently Helen was Chief Financial Officer of Turning Point, a social enterprise working with people to support their mental health, drug and alcohol use and people with a learning disability. 

Helen is also a Non-Executive Director of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, providing life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, and the Mental Health and Employment Partnership Limited supporting individuals with severe mental illness, substance misuse and learning disability, to obtain employment.

Helen has a strong motivation to support people across the community to ensure that everyone is treated equally.
 

Zoe Weaver profile image

Zoe Weaver

Director of People

Zoe joined Ambitious about Autism in September 2008 and is currently responsible for leading and managing the People team to ensure we can attract, engage, train, develop and retain talent across the organisation. She has worked across the private, public and third sectors in a range of leadership roles having started her career in education. She has recently retired as a Trustee for SOAS, University of London and as a Trustee from the Arts Pension Fund. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Alison Worsley

Alison Worsley

Director of External Affairs

Alison joined Ambitious about Autism in September 2017 as Director of External Affairs, having worked in the children's voluntary sector for 15 years at Barnardo's and the National Children's Bureau. She is responsible for leading and building on our highly successful work in communication and marketing, policy, research and parent and youth participation. Alison is Chair of her local school's Governing Board and has been a school governor for four years.