New autism specialist for North West charity


A new autism specialist has been appointed by North West charity Alternative Futures Group (AFG) to further help the organisation make a positive difference for people it supports who live with the disability.

Every year, Alternative Futures Group supports more than 1100 people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. This is achieved by providing around the clock support within the community, in peoples own homes or in one of eight specialist hospitals.

Sharon Hanner is the latest senior appointment by the charity following the recent appointment of three new Community Services Directors and has more than 20 years’ experience working with people with autism, their families, carers and educators.

Most recently Sharon was head of residential services at A Quiet Place Ltd, an autism specific independent charitable organisation that educates and cares for children and adults.

This followed a decade working for national charity Autism Initiatives UK where Sharon established the Outreach Support Service for Mainstream Education (OSSME) team. Prior to  OSSME Sharon learnt about autism from teaching children in special and mainstream educational and residential settings whilst gaining  advanced qualifications from a number of universities.

Sharon has also presented papers on autism and OSSME’s innovative systems and resources to audiences throughout UK, Australia, USA and South Africa and says she’s excited about her new role as an Advanced Autism Practitioner at AFG:

“I passionately believe in making a positive difference to people with autism and experience tells me this is best achieved by working with others in identifying, devising and delivering effective, innovative and bespoke approaches to training and support.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work at Alternative Futures Group which has such a fantastic reputation of delivering a quality service for the people it supports.”

Neil Campbell, chief executive of AFG said:

“AFGs vision and values are focused on putting the people we support in control of their lives and Sharon is the latest senior appointment who can help deliver that vision. She is also an experienced coach having contributed to leadership programmes with Dale Carnegie, Common Purpose and 3Thinking.

“I’m delighted we’ve been able to attract Sharon to AFG as her specialist skills are exactly what we need as we continue to equip the charity with a talented team of practitioners who can help us face the challenges ahead.”

More information can be found by visiting or by visiting ‘AFG Support’ on Facebook. You can also follow us on Twitter @AFGSupport

Alternative Futures Group Limited (AFG) is a leading provider of high quality services to adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs in the North West of England. Find out more at

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