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Welcome to our new CEO, Tom Harrison!

2nd March 2023

“I have worked in social care settings for nearly 30 years including roles with large charities like Sense and RNID as well as more more local organisations including Focus Birmingham, where I was also a CEO.

Most recently I have been the Director of Operations for Ambient Support who provide services across the country to people with learning disabilities and autism as well as those with mental health and age-related care needs. After nearly 5, very enjoyable, years with Ambient, I was starting to get itchy feet and I was really excited to hear that Autism West Midlands were looking for someone to succeed Phil Middlewood.

The chance to work for a charity that is not only local to home but that has a strong reputation for specialist services in Autism, a field I have always been very interested in, was one I couldn’t pass up. As I met people during the interview process and got to learn more about the charity, I was even more keen to get the job. Needless to say, I answered ‘yes!’ very quickly when the offer was made.

I think the mix of the more intensive, accommodation-based support and the range of specialist advice, training and case work that is delivered through the community teams means the charity can have an impact in all sorts of ways. Although I’ve only just started in my role, I can see clearly that we do really make a difference to so many people’s lives.

In terms of my role, filling Phil’s boots will be no easy task but I do have excellent support and experience with Jason, Christina and Serena on the senior team. The charity is already in very good shape, despite all the recent challenges the social care sector has experienced,  and I think we are ready to take the next steps in the developing our offer. Whether that’s through new digital systems, exciting training and development opportunities for our staff or expanding the services we deliver, I’m sure that we’ll be making a splash, helping more people with autism and their families and friends over the next few years.”

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