About us

Sarah, Donna and Odette are parents to children and adults with broad and complex needs. This gives them a unique and essential depth of understanding, personal knowledge and hands on experience. All have a determination to make the future brighter for others. Family support workers hold an enhanced DBS certificate.

They have experience with the following conditions and difficulties:

  • Autism spectrum condition (ASC/D)
  • Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD/HD)
  • Anxiety
  • Sensory Processing Disorder/Difficulties (SPD)
  • Hypermobility
  • Epilepsy
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Mental health difficulties, including trauma, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Irlens Syndrome
  • Conversion Disorder

It is living with these conditions that allows them to have an insight into the complexities and skills required to meet the individual needs of the client, relate to them and support so that they can access the services parent/carers/young people are rightly entitled to.

Our team have successfully navigated the system for Education Health Care Plans (EHCP) for their children, have appealed decisions, attended SEN tribunal, worked extensively with the Local Authority, social services, including the Family Group Conference service and have knowledge of working with multi-disciplinary teams, including health and social care.

Sarah and Donna have successfully worked on previous projects together, mainly the Aspire School in Sittingbourne - an ambitious and large-scale four-year plan to develop a special needs school for young people with autism in Swale, Kent. This involved extensive communication with parents, service providers, the Department for Education, charities, councillors, MPs and project managing a team. They also assisted in developing a support group for parent/carers when a need for the service was identified in the local area.

Sarah

Sarah feels strongly about young people with autism and their special needs being met in the right environment; ensuring the right support is given in order for them to reach their full potential. She has two children, one studying at university, the other in a small independent school, after failed placements in both mainstream and special schools.

Sarah is a former councillor and cabinet member for Health & Wellbeing. She was a member of the Local Children Partnership Board, District Children's Advisory board and Kent Health & Wellbeing board and Budget Task force group. Safeguarding and Leisure also fell under her remit. Before having children, she worked in finance.

office

Donna

Donna has a passion for equality, inclusion and diversity. She feels that by empowering parents with knowledge, they are better able to make positive decisions for their family. She has five children, all with their own needs. Her children have attended special, independent and mainstream schools. Two are successfully in full time employment, one studies at university and works part time around studies and two are school age.

Donna has been to Special Educational Needs Disability tribunal, worked extensively with a variety of schools, social services including safeguarding and attended Care Education Treatment Reviews. She has been a carer at home for her children whilst working on other projects to continuously develop her skill set.

Donna has recently participated in training, relating to autism and girls.

Odette

Odette is a member of our board and currently our administration assistant. She has a young child with autism, who until fairly recently was non-verbal. She is experienced in the EHCP process and her child attends a special school. Odette is keen to learn and develop her skill set and is a valuable asset to the team.

odette

Policies

As a Community Interest Company we hold a number of policies:

  • Safeguarding children and adults
  • Confidentiality
  • Compliments and Complaints
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Code of Conduct
  • Privacy policy

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to see our policies.

When we meet you, we ask you to complete an initial form, asking for basic information, what your concerns are and what you hope to achieve by working with us, plus we ask you to sign an agreement which sets out what you can expect from us, fees, and how we hold your information and for how long. 

This needs to be completed before any work will commence.

General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulations (2018) and The Data Protection Act (2016)

The privacy policy tells you what information we keep. This could be data about young people, parents/carers, staff and volunteers. By reading the privacy policy(ies) which is/are relevant to you, you will have a clearer understanding of how we collect information and what we do with it.

Everyone who is connected with our company is entitled to know what information we hold about them. Please ask us for a copy of the Subject Access Request form in order to obtain this information. As the law currently stands, young people who are 12 years or under have to have a Request made for them by a parent/carer. From the age of 13, the government judges that young people are old enough to make their own request. (This may change when the 2018 Data Protection Act goes through Parliament.)

When filling in the Subject Access Request forms, please read the guidance. This is likely to shorten the time needed for us to prepare the information that you have requested.

Every provider has to have a person responsible for data management. The Autism Apprentice CIC Representative is Sarah Aldridge. The GDPR Representative is the first person to approach with any queries or requests about these regulations.


The Autism Apprentice CIC is registered in England and Wales.
Company number: 12025031