MyOTAS (My Own Time and Space) was founded in 2019 by a group of parents of autistic children and professionals who support SEND children.
We are based in Wickford Essex and support families from across Essex.
Vision and Values
Our Vision is to improve the lives of neurodivergent children and young people.
· Non-judgemental – valuing people for who they are
· Inclusive – everyone is welcome
· Innovative thinking – exploring new ideas and finding different ways to do things
· Collaboration – working openly with other voluntary organisations and service providers
Hello, I’m Paula Farrow. I have 4 children; 2 older boys who are now married and living independently, and two younger children who are autistic. From an early age, I could see that they were wired differently. They have so much to offer and yet the difficulties that they experience with some everyday tasks and situations can make it hard for them to shine, or even be able to cope with many everyday activities.I am a founding member of MyOTAS and I am passionate about improving outcomes for neurodivergent children who often also experience high anxiety and other mental health problems. I am so grateful to the parents and professionals who have worked so hard to improve the understanding of autism and neurodiversity over the last 20 years, and I want to keep that momentum going, for our own young people now, and for the generations that follow. Prior to becoming involved with MyOTAS, I worked for Essex Family Forum, to ensure that the experiences of families of children with special needs were heard and represented with Education, Health and Social Care Services and before that I worked for RBS in Corporate Change Management. Outside of work, I can usually be found walking my loyal dog Amber, watching my son playing football, or taking my daughter shopping. I also enjoy teaching and practising yoga.
My career spans over 40 years, mainly within financial services undertaking senior roles across various areas such as strategy, sales, HR and Programme Management.I have recently worked within the not-for-profit and Social Enterprise sectors utilising my extensive experience in improving and growing businesses through transformational change and cultural development. I’m currently the CEO of Exceptional Individuals a specialist employment agency supporting neurodivergent individuals gain employment, then training and coaching them in the workplace to be successful in their role. I have four children ranging from 26 to 15; with my daughter being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. My free time passion is football and I coach children and young people at our local - grassroots club Wickford Town FC, also running inclusion training sessions for neurodivergent kids. I’m proud to be the Chair of Trustees at MyOTAS - looking to use my professional and personal experience to safely scale up the charity so we can support as many families as possible.
I’m Maria Denton and have two boys, aged 10 and 6 years. My eldest is autistic and has an additional diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).I am a CCAB qualified accountant and work full time in Local Government, where I have been for the last 16 years. I have significant experience in audit, governance and risk and manage a small team. Following my son’s diagnosis in 2018 I researched and attended many courses to better understand autism and SPD, and how best to support him. I found that having this knowledge and the support of other parents that understand, has been invaluable over these last few years and I am keen to help others in my trustee role.
Jenne, whose name is pronounced “Yenna” (he is German!), has spent the last 16 years working with children in the community and special schools in South Essex within the NHS. Jenne’s special interests are Sensory Processing Difficulties, Autism and Developmental Coordination Disorder/Dyspraxia. He loves the educational aspects of the job and sharing his passion for Occupational Therapy with parents and other professionals alike.Jenne is a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapy as well as their specialist section Children, young people and families. Jenne is a registered professional with the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC). Jenne currently works at The Great Little OT Practice. Jenne lives in Billericay. He has a passion for the outdoors, loves table tennis, healthy eating, and his home-made sourdough bread – not necessarily in that order.
I live in Steeple, Essex and am a mum to three boys, one of whom was diagnosed with Autism in 2020. I quickly realised that once a diagnosis was received there was little support, which lead me to starting a weekly SEND support group for parents to gain knowledge and share their journeys.I am also an Essex Family Forum Champion where I met another local mum with a son with special educational needs and we started SEND in the Dengie where we support families in our area. I am passionate about parents, children and families having their voices heard and their needs met. I am a believer in giving positive feedback where it is due and I'm a force for driving change for improvement where services have been found to be lacking. I feel truly honoured to be a trustee at MyOTAS.
I am an Outdoor Learning Coordinator working with children with additional needs. I have been a teacher for 14 years and love working with children. I am trained in bushcraft, survival and therapeutic outdoor techniques. I'm always outside, hiking, gardening, cooking or making something.Last summer I volunteered for MyOTAS, running a weekly Therapeutic Outdoor Group, where the young people learned about nature photography, art and stream walking. I joined MyOTAS as a Trustee because they help the same families that I work with, and I feel my educational background could be beneficial to the charity.
I am Trisha McClure. I have worked as a Biomedical Scientist for over 30 years. I am currently employed by Nuffield Health, the UK's largest healthcare charity.I am Mum to a 17 year old son with a diagnosis of autism, dyslexia and associated anxiety. My daughter is 14 and is currently undiagnosed - we are about to embark on that journey. I am delighted to be on the board at MyOTAS. My driving force is to raise awareness and acceptance of neurodiversity and to help children and their families to access the support available to them.
Complaints Policy – July 2022
Equality Policy – July 2022
First Aid Policy – July 2022
Health & Safety Policy – July 2022
Home working Health & Safety Policy – July 2022
Privacy / GDPR Policy – July 2022
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy – July 2022
Whistelblowing Policy – July 2022
Trustees Annual Report 2019-2020
Trustees Annual Report 2020-2021
Trustees Annual Report 2021-2022