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Meet the team

Our employability team is friendly, approachable and happy to answer any of your questions. Find out more about each of them by reading their one-page profiles.

Maria Ashworth

Maria Ashworth

Employ Autism External Evaluator

Maria is a PhD student at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), at UCL Institute for Education. Maria's PhD research project is tracking and evaluating the Employ Autism programme to improve knowledge and practice about how to support autistic people into employment and provide evidence to support a final framework of the Employ Autism programme. 

Maria has a range of experience in developmental psychology and autism research and has worked on projects about Education Health and Care plans, transitioning to secondary school and developing a Research Passport to support inclusive, autism-friendly research. 

Find out more about Maria by reading her one page profile

Corinne Guerin Information, Advice and Guidance Officer at Ambitious about Autism profile image

Corinne Guerin

Careers Advisor

Corinne is a Careers Adviser with a level 6 qualification in Career Guidance and Development. She has 20 years’ experience working with autistic children and young people in various settings.

Corinne is part of the Employ Autism team; her role is to enable autistic young people to apply for our work experience placements. This can include developing job-hunting skills, understanding disclosure and workplace adjustments, and exploring career direction and different options.

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

Felicity Carter Project Manager at Ambitious about Autism profile image

Felicity Carter

Programme Manager

Felicity is a Programme Manager for Employ Autism. She manages a team to deliver information advice and guidance to autistic young people applying for a work experience placement. Felicity provides information and advice to employers to design their work experience placements, adapt their recruitment process and support employers throughout internships.

Felicity has wide-ranging expertise in project management, customer service and delivering presentations and training.

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

Elizabeth Carrithers Project Support Officer at Ambitious about Autism profile image

Elizabeth Carrithers

Business Support Officer

Elizabeth is often the first point of contact to young people and employers and is always professional and reassuring in providing the information that you need.

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

Gil Goncalves headshot

Gil Goncalves

Training and Consultancy Officer

Gil has worked for many years in HR and has got a special interest and experience in learning, training, and skills development.

He successfully designed and delivered the Face-to-Face Befriending training service at Scope UK, aimed at parents of disabled children in five East London boroughs who accessed the service for emotional support in coming to terms with their child's diagnosis. He also implemented Positive Action programmes at some London local authorities, bringing a diversity of approach in the recruitment and promotion of talents in some London local authorities as well as in the Fire Service.

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

Sophie varley headshot

Sophie Varley

Training Consultant

Sophie’s background is in research and education, with a particular interest in increasing pupil and staff well-being in schools. Sophie has worked closely with autistic pupils in primary schools, helping to individualise education plans to cater to each learner, using her own experience as an autistic person to guide her practice. Prior to becoming a teacher, Sophie worked in research and analysis in both the academic and private sector. 

Sophie is responsible for the delivery of training products and consultancy services at Ambitious about Autism. She is passionate about raising the understanding of autism, particularly in education and work settings, in order to promote the strengths of autistic people of all ages. Sophie’s experience as a teacher of both neurodiverse and neurotypical children drives her to create a more inclusive world for all.  

Sophie spends her spare time volunteering as a rock-climbing coach to young people, walking in the mountains, visiting miniature and model railways or building her own. She also enjoys meditating, cooking and reading. 

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


Charlotte Kupper

Careers Advisor

Charlotte is a Level 6 qualified careers advisor with over 20 years’ experience and is a Registered Careers Development Profession (RCDP). She has worked in secondary schools, sixth forms, further education colleges, and university providing all age guidance.

Charlotte is part of the Autism Exchange team; her role is to enable autistic young people to apply for our work experience placements. This can include developing job-hunting skills, understanding disclosure and workplace adjustments, exploring career direction and different options.

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

Nicole photo

Nicole Curtin

Account Manager - Employ Autism

Nicole started her career in education and respite support for disabled children before moving into the charity sector. She led on strategic development at the charity KEEN London, supporting short breaks activities for disabled children and young people. An experienced facilitator, she has delivered training to hundreds of volunteers on autism understanding and acceptance. Outside of her professional work she volunteers with refugee projects and feels passionately about creating a fairer, more equal society for all. 

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

Harry Wendon

Business Engagement Officer

After spending the last 15 years in retail management, Harry made the decision to join Ambitious about Autism, working within the Employ Autism team, Utilising all of his experience to connect and build relationships with employers that share his passion and drive to get Autistic people into work.

Harry has a wide range of expertise in Operational management, People & Project management, and Recruitment. And with a history of living and working with Autistic people, Harry knows firsthand how much of a positive impact Autistic people can have in both your private and professional life.

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


Catherine Leggett

Training Consultant

Cath’s background is in engineering and technical roles, and they have also worked on gender equality projects for women in science, engineering and technology.

Cath is an experienced autism and employment consultant and trainer and has worked with employers and employees nationwide as a specialist optimising autistic people’s strengths at work since 2014. Cath also speaks at conferences and events, and regularly contributes to articles and interviews to promote the recruitment, retention and progression of autistic people in the workplace. Cath was diagnosed autistic in 2015 and has an adult autistic child.

In their spare time, Cath enjoys advocacy and building peer support networks for adults to bring together autistic autism professionals, parents, jobseekers, creatives, artists and other professionals to address some of the shortfalls in the support available around diagnosis, accessing healthcare and services and generally living well as an autistic person. Cath is a passionate about their work, bringing communities together and bridging the gaps between parents, autistic adults and support professionals.

Find out more about Cath by reading their one page profile.

Joe Swan

Account Manager

Joe is the Account Manager for our Employ Autism programme working with corporate partners to transform their businesses for autistic people. 

Joe has many years of experience working on large scale and multi-faceted corporate partnerships in health and homelessness charities.

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

David Hart headshot

David Hart

Information, Advice and Guidance Officer

David has 16 years’ experience working with autistic young people in a variety of education, training, employment and IAG settings. He is part of the Employ Autism team, and his role is to support and enable autistic young people to apply for work experience placements, identify adjustments and prepare them for the workplace.

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

Melissa Roper headshot

Melissa Roper


Melissa is an Administrator for the Employ Autism programme; she is also often the first point of contact for young people looking to apply for opportunities through the Employ Autism programme.

Through her previous job and volunteer roles Melissa has experience supporting autistic children, young people, and adults in various aspects of their lives. She is committed to providing professional and personalised support and customer service.

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

Jade Fuller

Jade Fuller

Programme Manager (on maternity leave until summer 2023)

Jade has worked for more than 10 years with business and education to help prepare young people for their future careers. Building on this experience Jade is now working across the country to establish and deliver the Employ Autism programme, bringing together employers and partners from education, local authorities and support agencies to ensure autistic people can access paid work experience.

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

Nik Tourani

Nik Tourani

Information, Advice and Guidance Officer

Nik has multiple years of experience working with autistic young people as an educator, clinician, and advocate across various institutional settings in the United States and Mexico, as well as recently completing his M.A. degree at SOAS University of London.

He is part of the Employ Autism team, working to support autistic young people throughout the process of applying for work experience placements, identifying workplace adjustments, and making pre- and post-placement preparations. He feels passionate about contributing to the creation of a fairer and more inclusive employment landscape.

Outside of his professional work, Nik is passionate about languages, travel, and immigration-related causes.

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

Justin Penney

Justin Penney

Training Consultant

Justin has worked in the field of autism since 1993, starting at a school for autistic children before moving into providing employment support and advice, where he has continued to work ever since. He has worked for a variety of disability organisations and has many years experience of delivering training, advice and guidance to employers and autistic job seekers on all aspects of autism awareness, recruitment, and adjustments in the workplace.

Justin has a wealth of experience in understanding the skills and attributes that autistic people can bring to the workplace.

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