DiversityNE is part-funded
by the European Social Fund and North of Tyne Combined Authority.

'Growing the power and potential of a neurodiverse workforce'

Where are you from?

I was born in Middlesbrough but lived most of my life in County Durham in a little village called Bishop Middleham.

What is your role at Diversity NE?

Quality Manager

How long have you worked for NEAS?

As an autistic person, I have moved around many jobs and worked in many sectors, including transportation, engineering, teaching, and care. But I have worked for NEAS for almost four years now.

I started out as a participant on one of the provisions that Employment Futures ran called the LA7. From there, I became a Community Employment Specialist and worked on another work program called the J2E. I then became a quality officer and was tasked with writing a bespoke quality framework for our department. Upon completion of that, I became the Quality Manager for our team.

Can you share a career highlight?

I was recently the guest editor for the Sunderland Echo, where I spoke about autism acceptance and our region. It was a great privilege to be asked and be allowed to talk about something I live and breathe in a very personal way.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

By far changing the trajectory of someone's life, in a more fulfilling and positive way, much like what happened to me. Seeing and hearing from someone years after they left your provision and hearing about their success and happiness is unparalleled in this job.

Why did you want to be involved with Diversity NE? 

Who wouldn't want to be part of the fantastic fabric of people, cultures and experiences of the North-east? I count my blessings daily, and I'm grateful to be allowed to support people in a person-centred approach that wields tangible results for the people we support.

Click here to contact Ashley by email