Nicola Hough is the Service Co-ordinator for ACCT and leads Acctivate Children’s Club. Nicola also organises ACCT’s family days out and is one of our main fundraisers. She has two daughters, one on the autistic spectrum. Nicola also works at a local nursery school supporting pre-school children with additional needs and was the SENCo at a local playgroup. She has supported the needs of several children on the autistic spectrum and is particularly interested in early intervention and believes this is key to a child’s progress and future development. Nicola feels very lucky to work within a setting that embraces disability and has learned how to implement many different strategies. She has an NVQ level 3 in Early Years and has received training in Early Years, First Aid, ASCs, Behaviour Management, Makaton, Jabadao and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). Nicola is the Safeguarding Lead for ACCT.
Nicola has previously been a trustee of ACCT and undertook the roles of Secretary and Co-Chair.
Deputy Co- ordinator
Cherry Robin is the Deputy Co-ordinator, coordinates volunteers and is a Playworker at both Teenage Club and Acctivate. Cherry has worked with ACCT since 2015, has both personal and professional experience with ASD, and is trained in team teach, first aid and PDA.
Cherry also works as deputy manager in an after school club and is working towards a Level 3 Diploma in Playwork.
Teenager Club Leader
Alex Hithersay leads the weekly Teenager club and is a Play-worker at the Saturday children’s club (Acctivate) and an experienced member of staff. Alex has been with ACCT for five years, has a wealth of experience working within the club and has a great understanding of ASD. Alex is team teach trained and is trained in safeguarding, management, first aid, PDA, ASD and behaviour management. He is also a Climbing Coach/Instructor for The Climbing Works in Sheffield, and has worked as PA for teenagers and children with ASD and PDA for several years. He is qualified with an BTEC level 3 In IT practitioners and looks after the IT equipment used at ACCT. He has run summer workshop in media/music/animation as well as climbing clubs for the teenagers and children.
Funding and Strategy Coordinator
Peter Friend is the new Funding and Strategy Coordinator for ACCT since March 2016. Peter has worked in the voluntary sector in England and Scotland for the past 35 years with a number of large and smaller charities. Peter is a qualified General Manager and has held a variety of senior management and service operations positions during this time. When not working with ACCT Peter is a keen gardener and allotment holder, as well as enjoying hill walking and anything else involving being outside.
Chair of ACCT
Professor Sylvia Johnson retired from her post of Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Development and Society at Sheffield Hallam University in 2012. Since then she has immersed herself in championing and working in the field of autism. Sylvia has an adult son who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and Dyspraxia aged 11 and who went on to complete a mathematics degree in 2010. He has recently moved to live independently.
Sylvia is also a trustee for the National Autistic Society and chairs their Service Quality and Development Committee. Locally she has been a trustee for Autism Plus, is a member of the management committee for SAPAG ( Sheffield Aspergers’ Parents Action Group), which supports parents of adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and coordinates the A Team, a social group for the adults themselves. Currently she is also chairing a workstream for Sheffield City Council on Employment as part of their Autism Partnership.
Originally a mathematician, she had an early career as a mathematics teacher, and a researcher on a national mathematics project before moving into higher education. Over the years she has participated in numerous regional and national educational and research projects and has served and led a wide range of committees and working groups. She continues to maintain some links with Sheffield Hallam University and supports their Aspire Mentoring Programme.
Helen Gilder qualified as a chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 1991 and has a broad range of finance experience from working initially within a firm of accountants and more recently in the wider industry. For the past 16 years she has been employed as Group Finance Director at ZOO Digital Group plc, which is a technology and service business listed on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s international market for smaller growing companies. In this role Helen has responsibility for all financial aspects of the business and also acts as Company Secretary.
She has two sons who are diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD and has found thesupport offered by ACCT invaluable. She volunteered as treasurer for ACCT in March 2016.
Deborah Young has been a management committee member since 2008 and coordinates the Parents Evenings. Deborah has two children, both with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. Prior to starting her family she worked as a Registered General Nurse for 10 years and specialized in caring for patients with cancer and in Palliative Care, working in a hospice for 2 years.
Honorary Management Committee
Dr Nevyne Chalhoub has worked as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in Sheffield since 1998 and has the position of Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Sheffield Children’s Foundation Trust. She is also the Clinical Director of CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).
Playworkers and Volunteers
Acct is lucky enough to have a number of highly trained playworkers at our sessions and volunteers supporting them. Our volunteers do a very valuable service supporting both our children and families and we feel very grateful that they give their time to ACCT.