Empowering People, Launching lives
BeyondAutism is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of individuals who contribute a wide range of expertise and experience to the charity. The Board meet four times a year and are responsible for strategic development and ensuring the smooth running of the charity.
Karen Sorab OBE – Chair of Trustees
Karen Sorab is the mother of a child with autism called Alex. Before her daughter’s 3rd birthday Karen was told that Alex would probably never learn to communicate. Karen refused to accept that prognosis and having carried out extensive research began educating her daughter at home using a specialist teaching technique called Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Alex’s progress was startling and exciting but it was also clear to Karen that Alex would need to continue with her specialist educational programme in a school setting. As there was no suitable school locally Karen collaborated with local parents who also had children with autism and who shared a common need for specialist education for their children. Karen set up the first school as a registered charity in 2000. From its inception Karen drove the growth of the school and the charity and transformed it from a small classroom for 3 pupils into the successful and highly regarded educational charity that it is today. Karen worked unpaid as the Chief Executive of BeyondAutism until September 2015 and now sits as Chair of Trustees. Karen was awarded The Badge of the Order of Mercy in 2007 by The League of Mercy, she was made a Paul Harris Fellow by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 2009 and she was awarded a Point of Light by the Prime Minister in 2015. In 2018 Karen was awarded an honorary OBE for services to education. Karen is also a member of the Network of Women Chairs and a member of the Women of the Year Alumnae Club. Alex is living in London and studying horticulture at an Independent College.
Andy Lusk – Vice-Chair
Andy Lusk retired in 2013 from his position as Director of Autism Services at Ambitious about Autism, having worked for Scope as Education Director, Children’s Services Director and Executive Director before that. He has worked in adult psychiatry, learning disability services, adoption and fostering, wider children’s services, as a Head of School, as a lecturer, in SEND and the Courts since qualifying in 1975. Now he practices through his consulting company, most of which involves advising organisations on services development, safeguarding and SEND. He joined the BeyondAutism Board in April 2015.
Rozelyn Bristowe joined BeyondAutism as a Trustee in January 2018. She worked for a leading UK fundraising consultancy for seven years before working freelance in the health, legal and university sectors. Prior to this she worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, the National Film and Television School and Durham University in major gift and trust and foundation fundraising. Roz is a certified member of and mentor for the UK Institute of Fundraising.
Donna is the former Director of Step by Step School for Children with Autism, a specialist provision providing 1:1 teaching for pupils aged 4-19 based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis. She was responsible for the overall leadership, management and strategic planning of the school from the time it opened in 2004 until she retired in August 2018.
She was also directly accountable to the Trustees of the Charity (Step by Step School Ltd) and worked with them to ensure the goals of the Charity were met and the financial viability of the School was maintained.
Donna continues to be committed to supporting children with special needs and their families and joined the BeyondAutism Board of Trustees in January 2019.
Angus joined as a Trustee in February 2019 and will bring specific financial experience to the Board.
Angus is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London specialising in tax, transaction services and real estate. He qualified as an accountant in Sydney, Australia before moving to the UK in 1990. Angus been with PricewaterhouseCoopers throughout undertaking a variety of management and client service roles. Angus has had previous charitable experience having acted as Honorary Treasurer for the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Trust, an educational charity funding post graduate study in the UK.
Victoria Federico joined BeyondAutism as a Trustee in October 2019. She is a Solicitor and Head of Education Law at Shoosmiths, specialising in special educational needs law. Victoria has specialised in this area of law since 2008.
She has also worked at Ambitious about Autism charity where she led their information and family support service.
Victoria is regularly invited to speak at conferences and to deliver workshops/seminars on special educational needs law issues, including for parent groups, charities, independent schools and colleges and parent carer forums.
Registered Charity No. 1082599. Registered in England and Wales Ltd by guarantee No. 4041459 Registered Office: Ashurst LLP, London Fruit & Wool Exchange, 1 Duval Square, London, E1 6PW