Saturday 14 May 2011


Welcome back to adventures with Autism Works!

After a fantastic trip to South America, during which I took in some of the most spectacular scenery I can say I have ever seen, I have come back to some interesting changes at Autism Works as well as a slight disappointment.

My trip to South America was spectacular not only in the full sense of the word, but also in variation of different landscapes and climates, as well as experiencing some of the strongest winds I have ever known. Patagonia initially appealed to me after happening to see some footage of Simon Reeve’s Rough Guide to the World television series on the BBC and it looked so spectacular with its mountains and glaciers. I was told that I would be ‘blown away’ by some of the sights in Patagonia, including Mount Fitzroy in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park and Chile’s magnificent Torres del Paine National Park, and I literally almost was on at least two occasions! The ultimate highlight though was seeing a condor in full flight soaring across the Andes. I hope to go back to South America again in the not too distant future, after I have learned a little more Spanish, or in the case of Brazil, Portuguese.

Coming back to Autism Works, I learned that, unfortunately, we didn’t get any funding from the Department of Health Third Sector Investment Fund to which we submitted an application last Autumn. However, the positive news is that we have now appointed our Testing Manager, Grayson Cobb. With six years behind him as a Testing Manager and a total of ten years’ experience in software testing, Grayson has tested software for a number of major companies on a self-employed contractor basis, including two years at the National Institute for Health Research. In his new and potentially exciting role at Autism Works, Grayson is eager to bring high-profile software testing contracts to the company as well as developing confidence in our first software testers due to be appointed in the coming months.  

Before taking time off work to go trekking, I had been used to it being just Peter and myself sharing our Grey Street office, but now, our workforce, both paid and unpaid is slowly expanding. In addition to Grayson, we have also had some input from Dan Cottrell, a young man recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome currently experiencing the frustrations of not being able to obtain employment, despite having a degree in Internet Computing. However, Dan has very kindly been coming into Autism Works where he is putting his web-development skills to good use in helping to rebrand the Autism Works website – but on the look-out for an improved site over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, after struggling to adjust to coming back to work, I am working on three funding bids and we are also taking on a student intern to help us with marketing activities. After being away for almost a month, coming back to Autism Works almost feels like starting a new job, but I am looking forward to working with Grayson and continuing to work with Dan, to whom we are grateful for his contribution thus far with the website. I’m sure you’ll be impressed when it goes live!

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