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Meet the participation team

Our participation team at Ambitious about Autism run our youth engagement programmes including the Youth Council and the Ambitious Youth Network. The team also lead on consultancy projects with external organisations. They work to ensure autistic young people are at the heart of all we do.  


Follow youth participation at Ambitious about Autism

There are many ways to keep up to date on the latest Ambitious Youth Network work, by following Ambitious about Autism social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


Nuala Flewett

Senior Participation Programme Manager

Nuala has worked in the charity sector for several years and has experience and knowledge of working with young people, with a particular interest in mental health and neurodiversity. Nuala has experience of participation and co-production with young people, as well as building relationships and developing new partnerships. Nuala is very excited to lead the participation team at Ambitious about Autism. 

Find out more about Nuala by reading her one page profile.

Sita Patel

Sita Patel

Project Manager - Autistic and OK

Sita has worked as a project manager in international development for several years and has experience working with young leaders and notable stakeholders to deliver high-level projects. She has an interest in supporting young people to participate in development processes and promoting their engagement at all levels of decision-making. She is very excited to be part of the Participation team and to deliver the Autistic and OK project.

Find out more about Sita by reading her one page profile.


Abi Odell

Digital Youth Engagement Manager

Abi has a wide range of experience working with young people from a variety of backgrounds. She has worked across ages in early years settings through to post-16 services and most recently supported young people to take their next steps into further education. She is very excited to be working with the Ambitious Youth Network and is eager to contribute to the continual strength of the participation team.  

Find out more about Abi by reading her one page profile.

Hannah Boughton

Hannah Boughton

Programme Manager

Hannah has worked with young people in some shape or form over the past nine years. More recently, she worked for an environmental charity in their school’s and education team where she was able to work directly with young people and educators across the UK and beyond. It was during this time she discovered her passion and enjoyment for not only working with young people but also supporting them to have their voices heard on causes they care about. She is really excited to be part of the participating team and is looking forward to getting to know the inspiring young people that are part of the Ambitious Youth Network. 

Find out more about Hannah by reading her one page profile.

Joss Lambert

Joss Lambert

Project Officer - Autistic and OK

Joss has lived experience of the autistic community as his younger brother Adam is autistic, and he is passionate about advocating for the acceptance of autistic young people in wider society. He formerly worked in the Marketing and Communications team at Ambitious about Autism, and is hugely excited to now be working full-time in the Participation Team as the Project Officer for the Autistic and OK project. He also enjoys his role as Peer Sessional Support on the Ambitious Youth Network and is looking forward to leading more Peer Support sessions in future.   

Find out more about Joss by reading his one page profile.



Helena Rodgers

Schools Engagement Officer - Autistic and OK

Helena has worked in the charity sector with a focus on education for several years and previously taught English in Germany. She has experience delivering tuition programmes in schools and working with Local Authorities to deliver education for Looked After Children and young people with SEND. She is passionate about making education accessible, inclusive and enjoyable for young people and advocating for young people with significant barriers to education.

Find out more about Helena by reading her one page profile.

sarah noble

Sarah Noble

Digital Youth Engagement Assistant

Sarah has experience of working with children and young adults (both neurotypical and neurodiverse) across a variety of jobs. This has included working at a special needs school, within local council services, as a nanny and as a personal assistant. She has a degree in Psychology and is especially passionate about raising awareness of autism and debunking myths about the condition. 

Find out more about Sarah by reading her one-page profile.


Natasha Hawley

Sessional Support Worker

Natasha has a full-time role in the central services of Ambitious about Autism and supports evening sessions working with young autistic people. She has experience working with young people in mainstream schools and universities and currently runs a mentor programme. Tash really enjoys her work growing our education services at Ambitious as well as creating the Inclusion content and resources on our website.

Lily Smythe photo

Lily Smythe

Sessional Support Worker

Lily has worked with autistic children and young people for the last five years, including as a Teaching Assistant and Behaviour Support at TreeHouse School, and coaching tennis with autistic adults. She is passionate about improving services provided to autistic people and their families, and hopes to start her PhD in the next few years. She is excited to work with Ambitious about Autism again, this time supporting the Youth Network.

Find out more about Lily by reading her one page profile.

Dan Ramsden

Sessional Support Worker

Dan has worked in a range of settings helping young people tell their stories through drama and film. He has a passion for enabling individuals to explore and express themselves across a range of issues, especially around Mental Health and the LGBTQ* community. Dan is looking forward to supporting online sessions and hearing a lot more stories.

Find out more about Dan by reading his one page profile.

Lauraine Pink

Sessional Support Worker

Lauraine has worked as a teaching and learning assistant at The Rise School since January 2020. She has experience working with autistic children through her role at children's centres, as a childminder, dance teacher and as a parent.

She has completed many courses throughout her time at The Rise, the most recent being 'Understanding Autism' and 'Behaviours that Challenge' both at level 2. 

Lauraine is excited to be part of the Youth network team as Peer Sessional Support and she looks forward to getting to know new people across Team Ambitious!

Find out more about Lauraine by reading her one-page profile.

Clare O'Neill

Sessional Support Worker

Clare, has always been interested in people and has worked in a number of positions across the social sector. After graduating from University, Clare worked for an education charity and as a teaching assistant in SEND schools. Clare then specialised in youth homelessness for a number of years before moving into mental health.

Clare is greatly looking forward to meeting the young people who participate in Ambitious about Autism programmes during her sessional support sessions.

Find out more about Clare by reading her one-page profile.

Maddy Ford

Maddy Ford

Sessional Support Worker

Maddy started out as a young person who was quite shy but found her confidence through joining a youth centre. The support her youth worker gave her helped her to achieve qualifications and get her first job as a sports coach leading pan-disability group sessions.

After a few years of experience, Maddy was a project manager on a programme that supported young women with disabilities to meet new people, get active and achieve their personal goals. Now, Maddy works full-time in football and is fortunate to work with many projects across England that help make sport and physical activity a safe, accessible and inclusive place.

Maddy is passionate about supporting young people to access opportunities for personal growth, gain new experiences and achieve their goals. She is excited to work with the young people who are engaged with the Ambitious about Autism network.

Hanane Tarhzouti

Hanane Tarhzouti

Sessional Support Worker

Hanane initially worked in the charity sector, specialising in advocating for people with mental health conditions. Most recently she has worked in the higher education sector, where she supported university students with disabilities, mental health conditions, physical health conditions, and neurodivergent students. She is passionate about promoting awareness and understanding of user participation, empowerment, and inclusion, and is very excited to be part of the team.

Find out more about Hanane by reading her one page profile.