National Autism Awards finalists announced

The National Autistic Society has unveiled the finalists of the 2020 Autism Professionals Awards.

The annual awards recognise people, services and schools across the UK who are making a difference to autistic people and their families. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony on 27 February 2020 at Birmingham Town Hall, following the first day of the charity’s Professionals Conference.

The 36 finalists were selected by an independent panel of autism specialists from a long list of public nominations. The judges assessed each nomination based on innovation and creativity, evidence and sustainability.

By celebrating the work and achievements of the finalists, the National Autistic Society hopes to increase public understanding of autism and inspire other people and organisations to make a difference too. There are 12 awards for individuals and organisations, covering education, health, social care, employment, and volunteering.

Carol Povey, Director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism, said:

“Our awards celebrate exceptional people, schools and services making a huge difference to autistic children and adults, and their families.

“All the finalists should be commended for impressing the judges and standing out among so many excellent nominations.

“We want to celebrate their achievements and share their stories, so we can promote innovative autism practice and inspire other people and organisations to help create a society that works for autistic people.”

Full shortlist

Awards for individuals

Achievement by an Individual Education Professional

  • Ania Hildrey, Headteacher at Abbot’s Lea School in Liverpool
  • Melanie Whitfield, Headteacher at Brookways School, London
  • Sharon Savage, Behaviour and Health Lead at Yeoman Park Academy in Mansfield

Outstanding Achievement by an Individual on the Autism Spectrum

  • Daniel Mynott, Impact and Insight Officer at The Change Foundation
  • Lee Corless, JP Morgan Chase
  • Nicholas Clarke, autism campaigner

Most Inspirational Volunteer

  • Daniel Jones, Social media influencer and advocate, The Aspie World
  • Hayley Harding, Founder of Sutton EHCP crisis group
  • Sophie Swift, Millom parents and carers disability group

Outstanding Healthcare Professional

  • Dr Alison Stansfield, Consultant Psychiatrist, Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service
  • Dr Gloria Dura-Vila, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Medical Lead for the ASD Pathway in Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Julia Skelding, Clinical Nurse Practitioner, Nottinghamshire NHS Foundation Trust

Someone who ‘changed my life’

  • Bronwen Schamrell, 1-1 Teaching Assistant, St Clements & St Johns CofE Infant School
  • Emily Niner, Participation Manager, Ambitious about Autism
  • Hazel Lim, Chinese In Autism Support Group, Chinese in Wales Association

Awards for teams

Inspirational Education Provision – Primary and Younger

  • Brookways School, London
  • Royd Nursery Infant School, Sheffield
  • Westwood Day Nursery, Coventry

Inspirational Education Provision – Secondary and Further

  • Clare Mount Specialist Sports College, Wirral
  • Wilmslow High School, Cheshire
  • The Base team, Yeoman Park Academy, Mansfield

Outstanding Adult or Children’s Services – Health or Social Care

  • Barnet Mencap: Autism Service
  • Saracen Care Services
  • The Inclusion Project

Innovative Family Support

  • Roundabout Dramatherapy
  • School Exclusion Service, National Autistic Society
  • The Pines Team Highland

Outstanding Employer

  • Capita and Essex County Council
  • JP Morgan Chase, Autism at Work programme
  • m/SIX

Most Creative Community Project

  • Act for Autism
  • True Colours Theatre
  • The Autism Ambassador Scheme for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight

 Most Impactful Researcher

  • Centre for Applied Autism Research, Department of Psychology, University of Bath
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Edinburgh

Find out more about autism, the Autism Professionals Awards and the Professionals Conference by visiting: