Chair of Trustees
Ed worked in local authority social services departments in Humberside County Council and later in Hull City Council for 22 years before retiring in 2003. Since then, he has done a variety of jobs mainly working with health and social care organisations in the statutory and voluntary sectors.
Ed values the unique and important role Matthew’s Hub plays in supporting people with autism. He is also a trustee on the board of HICA, the Humberside Independent Care Association, and keeps in touch with the services that organisation provides.
Sally’s experience with 2 of her children diagnosed as autistic, led her to become active in the promotion of better services for the Autistic community since the 1990’s.
She was Branch officer for the National Autistic Society Hull & East Riding for 3 years in the 90’s. In 2004, with 3 other families, became a founding member of the Maxifun club, an inclusive family social and leisure club. She played a part on various committees and family consultation groups with Social Care and Health services, trying to improve services. She has talked many times at conferences and training days about the day to day, nitty gritty impact that autism has had on her family.
In 2010/11 she worked with the parent led charity, FiND developing a local day service for people with Autism and Learning disabilities post education. Through this experience Sally became supportive of the work of Gill and Kath, that led to the development of Matthew’s Hub as it is today.
Simona is the person who had the initial idea of Matthew’s Hub, which was created in memory of her son ‘Matthew'. You can find Matthew’s story in the ‘About us’ section.
She is very proud of Matthew’s Hub and its achievements: she finds the team truly remarkable, in that its members are highly qualified in health and social care and some of them have a diagnosis of autism, which gives them a unique insight into what it is like to live with autism and overcome its challenges. She thinks that, thanks to them, Matthew’s Hub has grown well beyond her expectations in just a few years and is making a big difference to the lives of many vulnerable young people.
Simona has an academic background, having worked first at Bangor and then at Hull University teaching Italian language and literature. She has another son who lives in Italy and makes frequent trips there. She loves playing the organ, volunteering in a refugee welcoming centre, walking and time with friends.
Dr Brett Heasman is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at York St John University
Brett’s area of specialist research is Autism, and his research has been published in international leading journals. He also lectures on topics related to autism and social interaction.
Brett has collaborated with Matthew’s Hub members to create a public exhibition in London called ‘Open Minds’, which provided a platform for autistic voices to be heard in the public domain and improve public understanding of autism. The exhibition has reached over 10,000 people and has resulted in autism awareness resources that are being used by local councils and charities in the UK, Australia and the US.
Brett believes passionately in the vital role Matthew’s Hub plays, especially as it is among only a handful of charities in the UK that support autistic adults. He is very proud to be a trustee and proud of the great work of Matthew’s Hub, as it continues to grow and adapt to meet the needs of its members.
Jackie was born and raised in London, where she had a career in the Courts Service as a Legal Advisor. She moved to Beverley with her family nearly 30 years ago. Jackie qualified as a teacher and taught in Hull. Now retired, she retains her passion for education. Her interests include reading and a love of theatre.
She is a Magistrate and a Secondary School Trustee. She has held various posts including Chair of Governors’, responsibility for Special Needs (SEND) and Child Protection.
Jackie feels that her Teacher Training had limited focus on Additional Needs Teaching. Although, over the years, training included the Autistic Spectrum, she feels, mainstream schools in general do not cater sufficiently for the specific needs of those children who are non-neural typical. Jackie acknowledges that there are notable exceptions and many teachers who work hard to tailor a programme of learning for their pupils’ needs.
Jackie was delighted to have been asked to become a Trustee of Matthew’s Hub.