Our trustees

The Board of Trustees of Autism Initiatives provides governance to the organisation, it safeguards the values and ethos of the organisation and, along with the management team, it ensures that the organisational philosophy remains the charity’s main driver.

Values and ethos

The tradition of a parent-led organisation has continued since its founding by Pat Minshull and her supporters in 1971. The Board comprises of 12 members of which the majority are parents of children with autism.

Pat Minshull and her supporters worked hard to establish the charity in 1971 in order to provide on-going support for Pat’s son, then of school age.  The tradition has continued to the present day as six of the seven Trustees are parents of children with autism.

It is their fervent desire that their children, together with all of the other people that the charity supports, are given every opportunity to learn to communicate independently and develop self-esteem and confidence.

The Trustees encourage and support the Executive Management Team in the development of the organisation. Though the charity’s growth has been significant in the last decade, the Trustees have worked with the Management Team to ensure that the commitment to the philosophy and core professional services remains strong. In a real sense, the Trustees are the guardians of the values and ethos of the organisation, providing continuity in the evolving world of social care.

As set out in the Trustee nominations documentation, Trustees are elected to the Board via the Membership Committee, subject to the Board’s requirements of the charity at that time. Trustees give their time voluntarily and receive no benefits from the charity.

All Trustees undergo a training and induction programme, and work within the code of conduct and good practice guidelines as set out by the Charities Commission. All Trustees have a job description and designated responsibilities within the committee that they sit on. The Committees are Finance, Education, Human Resources and Development. Committees report back to the main Board on a quarterly basis.

The Board appoints the Chief Executive to manage the operations of the charity. The Chief Executive has delegated authority, within terms of delegation approved by the Trustees, to facilitate effective operations. The excellent working relationship between the Board and the Chief Executive is a tribute to the strategic development of the organisation.

Brian Williams - Chair of the board of trusteesBrian Williams is the current Chair of the Board of Trustees of Autism Initiatives.

Brian has a lifetime of experience working in social care, primarily in the area of children and families involved in adoption.  Formerly a Local Authority Social Worker he went on to manage a Voluntary Adoption Agency for over twenty years.  Since his retirement from that role he serves as an Independent Chair of both Local Authority and Voluntary Adoption Agencies. 

Brian is committed to the principle that ‘every person matters’.

Brian is actively involved in his local Baptist Church, loves non-fiction books and has been a fan of football, and specifically Everton, since an early age.

Autism Initiatives was founded by parents and Brian became involved with the organisation when his son who is on the autism spectrum became a pupil at Peterhouse School.

Brian has been a Trustee for 12 years and has supported the work of the outgoing Chair, Rose Buttery.  He pledges his continued support to maintaining our focus on meeting the needs of service users as the primary purpose of his work.  Brian recognises that in the current economic climate Autism Initiatives will face challenges but he is committed to the principles under which the charity operates.