Empowering People, Launching lives
BeyondAutism is governed by a Board of Trustees 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 is the mother of Alex, who has autism. Before her daughter’s 3rd birthday Karen was told that Alex would probably never learn to communicate. Karen refused to accept that prognosis. After carrying out extensive research she began educating her daughter at home using 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. With no suitable school locally, Karen collaborated with parents who shared a common need for specialist education for their children.
She set up the first school as a registered charity in 2000. From its inception Karen has driven 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 also made a Paul Harris Fellow by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 2009 and 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 retired in 2013 from his position as Director of Autism Services at Ambitious about Autism. Previously he worked for Scope as Education Director, Children’s Services Director and Executive Director. He 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 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 a former Director of Step by Step School, a specialist provision for pupils aged 4-19 using ABA. 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 is committed to supporting children with special needs and their families. She 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. He 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.
Rosemary joined the board in April 2021. She is a Partner at Perrett Laver, the leading international executive search firm working with mission-driven sectors worldwide. A specialist in Board, CEO, Headteacher, and senior leadership appointments for schools, school groups and Multi-Academy Trusts, Rosemary works broadly across the UK academy and independent sectors, including in special education.
Amran has extensive senior executive and non-executive board level leadership experience within complex organisations in the political, education and healthcare sector. He is an experienced healthcare director having worked in most types of NHS organisations providing high level and board level strategic and operational support to design, deliver and manage high standard patient-centred care. During this time he was committed to providing care which is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical commissioning decisions.
Amran also holds several commitments in the third sector as well as governmental and non-governmental bodies, mostly aligned to the justice system, the education and healthcare sector. Amran’s academic background is in medical sciences, healthcare management and politics. He studied at world leading institutions which include Harvard, Oxford, Durham, Mumbai, East China, London, Drexel and a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Amran’s interests and hobbies include swimming, countryside pursuits and all things classical. He joined the board in April 2021.
Christine’s background was in the food industry, first as a researcher and then in marketing, which led to her becoming Help the Aged’s Fundraising and Marketing Director. She subsequently became the CEO of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign going then to the Chartered Institute of Marketing before returning to the charitable sector after a period with the Office for Fair Trading.
Christine’s last role before retiring was as Brainwave’s CEO, which works with children with physical and learning disabilities and autism. She joined Dimensions as a Non-executive Director, chairing its quality and practice committee before becoming Chair of the Mencap Trust. She stepped down from these roles in 2020, joining BeyondAutism in April 2021.