Trustees | Ambitious about Autism
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The Board of Trustees is made up of individuals who are responsible for the strategic development and oversight of the charity. Trustees are recruited through a variety of means including advertisements in the national press and through direct contacts. All recruitment is based upon building and maintaining a board with a balanced range of strengths and expertise.

The Board of Trustees follows a regular cycle of termly meetings and has an annual away-day with the Executive Leadership Team. There are currently five committees chaired by Trustees with relevant expertise and which report to the full Board.

The Scrutiny and Audit Committee meets regularly and is responsible for general oversight and scrutiny of systems of planning, financial management and reporting, internal control and risk management. The Remuneration Committee is responsible for organisational decisions including those concerning pay conditions, policies and employment.  The School Governing Body examines all matters relating to the performance of the school and college. The Governance Committee deals with Trustee renewal, support and review. The Impact Committee provides oversight on the research, policy and campaigns work of the organisation and looks at the developments and initiatives to maximise its reach and impact for the benefit of children and young people.

Neil Goulden
Neil Goulden

Chair of Trustees

Neil has spent the last twenty-five years at board level within a number of leisure businesses including Ladbrokes, Compass Plc, Allied Leisure Plc and the Gala Coral Group. Most recently he was Chief Executive and then Chairman of the Gala Coral Group (2001-2011). He is Chairman of Gamesy Plc and Chair of the Marstons Plc Pension Scheme.

Neil now runs his own consultancy business (Neil Goulden Consulting Ltd) and is a Director of a number of organisations in the public, private and third sector.

In the not for profit sector, Neil is interested in social justice through access to health, housing and education. He is Chair of Sue Ryder charity, Pro Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Governors at Nottingham Trent University and was previously the Chair of Clarion Housing Association (135,000 social housing homes). He is also a Companion of the Institute of Management.


Lesley Longstone

Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust Board of Trustees and Chair of Education Committee

Lesley is Interim Chief Executive of the General Optical Council. She has extensive experience in a variety of fields including employment, education, youth and criminal justice in both national and international contexts. Prior to joining the General Optical Council, she was Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service and prior to  this,  Chief Executive of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

She was a member of the Department for Education Board, initially as Director General with responsibility for young people, which saw her working with the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, police and Youth Justice Board to deliver positive outcomes for young people. She was also involved with the Lead the Change programme that among other things, saw the successful delivery of the Academies programme. Lesley's career before then included several years working for the Employment Service, an arms-length body of the Department for Employment.

Martyn Craddock

Martyn Craddock is the father of twin boys, one of whom has attended TreeHouse School since 2009. As a parent, he has an understanding of the demands and joys of being a dad of a child with autism, and the impact it has on his family's life. After an early background in catering, Martyn then moved into the charity sector, firstly working for one of the City of London livery companies, and then Finance Director and CEO of St Luke's Trust in Islington. In 2015 he became CEO of United St Saviour's Charity, a large grant-making trust and sheltered housing provider in Southwark. Martyn is also a Ward Beadle in the City of London, a keen cyclist and cook.


Paul Disley-Tindell

Chair of Remuneration Committee 

Paul is Director of Corporate Real Estate at Telereal Trillium, a privately owned, London based property company. The company, which owns £6bn of assets, has long-term property partnerships with some of the UK’s largest occupiers, including BT and the Department for Work and Pensions. Paul is responsible for new business opportunities in both the public and private sectors, asset management and operational property strategies. Prior to joining Telereal Trillium, Paul worked for the asset management team at Royal Mail Property Holdings, where he was responsible for a number of operational property portfolios. A Chartered Surveyor, Paul has a BSc (Hons) in land management from Reading University and a postgraduate certificate in property investment from Cass Business School. He is a committee member of the Reading Real Estate Foundation, an educational charity, established to support real estate education at the University of Reading by engaging with industry to help students to achieve their full potential. 

Elizabeth Stanton

Chair of SAC and Treasurer

Elizabeth is a recently retired EY partner. She graduated in Mathematics before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. She moved overseas after qualifying returning to the UK in 1986 when she joined EY. In her career with EY she was an audit partner on a wide range of FTSE listed clients. She has lead IPOs, bid/defence work and large fraud investigations. She also held various management roles most recently being responsible for Risk Management in the assurance practice for the UK and Ireland. She is a Governor of Cranleigh School where she is a member of the Finance, Strategic Planning and Risk Management committees.

Philippa Stobbs

Chair of TreeHouse School Governing Body

Philippa Stobbs has a professional background in teaching and school inspection work. She has led a number of national developments in the education of disabled children and children with special educational needs (SEN). She has led policy work for the Special Educational Consortium since 1992, the development of national support to parent partnership services, the development of guidance on the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act in schools and early years settings. She is Assistant Director at the Council for Disabled Children and Policy Vice-chair of the Special Educational Consortium. She is part of the Council for Disabled Children team working as the Department for Education’s strategic partner on SEN and disability.

Jonathan Andrews

Jonathan is a Solicitor at Reed Smith. He has achieved several national and international accolades for his work both to ensure autistic people have fair access to the workplace, and to raise awareness among employers of the benefits to hiring talented autistic/neurodiverse employees. He is Chair of the Ambitious about Autism Youth Council and a member of the Ambitious about Autism Impact Committee. He was awarded European Campaigner of the Year 2016, and received a British Citizens Award at the House of Lords. He is a 2017 Queen's Young Leader and was the first British person to be shortlisted for the Commonwealth Youth Awards in 2017. Jonathan sits on the government's Health and Work expert board, the Law Society's equality board and is co-founder of Mind's equality leaders board, through which he works to ensure mental health services are more accessible to autistic people and others from non-traditional backgrounds. Jonathan holds a BA in English, an LLB in Law, an MA in Law and Business, and the Associateship of King's College. He has studied at the universities of Cambridge, King's College London and BPP

Alison Halsey

Appointed 7th October 2019
Alison has a very strong commercial and financial board track record combined with highly relevant trustee experience. She has experience of both executive and non-executive roles having had a 34-year career at KPMG where she led their Financial Services practice and held a significant position as a Global Partner. Alison has been NED Audit Committee Chairman for both Credit Suisse and Aon UK Ltd for the past 4 years. Alison has previously been a NED in other organisations supporting autistic children and young people, including the National Autistic Society. 


Alistair Maccallum

Appointed 7th October 2019
Alistair is the dynamic UK CEO of m/Six, a digital media network agency with international reach. Alistair has led initiatives across m/Six and the marcomms sector to promote neurodiversity. Alistair has lived experience of autism. With over 20 years’ experience in the media industry Alistair brings strong commercial understanding of the role digital plays across marketing, communications and business and how this supports building strategy, culture and strong teams. 

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