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Lesley Evans

Business Development Officer

Lesley brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role, having spent over 25 years in the corporate sector, running her own business, working with private, public and third sector clients. Lesley's current, innovative role at ANS supports Health and Social Care Partnerships and other partners to improve their practice and services with a view to securing better outcomes for autistic people. Lesley is currently undertaking the The Certificate in Counselling Skills at the University of Strathclyde.

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Lynsey Stewart

Capacity Building and Autism Improvement Officer

Lynsey leads on transitions across the lifespan, autism and aging and is currently working with NHS Education for Scotland on their newly created e-learning training resource. Lynsey engages autistic people, their families and carers, taking lead responsibility on engagement and improvements for the following geographical regions:

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Prof Jean MacLellan OBE

Director

Our Director, Professor Jean MacLellan, is a social worker by background who has worked in a variety of roles in local authorities, health and the voluntary sector. For much of her career she worked as a Social Work Inspector and Senior Civil Servant in the Scottish Government. In that capacity she led policy on adult protection, autism, carers, learning disability, sensory impairment and self directed support. She has written extensively in terms of policy development, implementation and evaluation.

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Christine Collingwood

Autism Improvement Officer

Christine has professional qualifications in social work and social work education. She worked with children and families , and for several years managed a social work team in which child protection was the priority. She has been involved with autistic children and adults at various stages of their life journey and joined the Network as an Improvement Officer in 2017, her specialism being Early Years. Christine engages with the Autism Strategy Leads from the following regions: Edinburgh, the Lothians (East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian) and the Scottish Borders, and from 2020, Dumfries and Galloway. Recently, Christine has worked with Education in Inverclyde on a pilot study looking at transitions in early years: including pre and post-diagnostic autism support for parents and more recently explored what is needed to better support parents. Christine has lectured in communication skills, worked in the field of health and research and in the charitable sector. She has a keen interest in criminal justice and has been a prison visitor, supporting an individual "through the gate" over a long period.

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Thom Kirkwood

Engagement and Participation Officer

Thom, a highly educated, talented, motivational and high-performing professional, Ph.D. MAPM, FRSA, who has served our communities well over 40 years in various positions. His approach very much reflects his broad varied experience across both third and private sectors, with a knowledge of autism spanning 30 years, couple to project, business and strategic management at individual, group, corporate and national level. He has also served on many policy review forums in areas of Education, Economic Development, Health, Housing and Social Care. Thom is a former member of the Scottish Strategy for Autism Governance Group, Chair of the former parent carer sub group and member of the wider engagement group. As well as facilitating contributor to the NES NHS Training review group, a contributory member of Families and Carers, Employment and Wider Opportunities, transitions work groups within Stirling Clackmannanshire Council Autism Development Plan. Thom has undertaken associate input to other key policy areas of GIFREC and Advocacy. Thom is a current member of Scottish Strategy for Autism Review Group and an Adviser to the Independent Review of Mental Health Legislation. Within Autism Network Scotland Thom leads on • Autism and Advocacy  Roundtable Policy and Practice  Parental Advocacy Training • Assisted Travel • Positive Partnerships  Positive Partnership Workshops  By Community for Community Information Leaflets • Development of a Single Information Access Portal He networks regularly with the • Department for Work and Pensions • Social Security Scotland and • City Deals forums. • Globally with over 700 professionals across public, private and third sectors Out with the professional environment, Thom is a single parent of 24 year old autistic daughter, diagnosed just before her 3rd birthday. He enjoys rugby, formula 1, all kinds of music, and has recently taken up the clarinet. Thom is also a specialist trainer for Brain In Hand

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Diane Wood

Autism Improvement Officer