About us

Our mission

Improve recovery outcomes, patient experience and feelings of empowerment for autistic children and young people who need psychiatric inpatient services.

Our vision

To see a world where Autistic children and young people no longer self harm from their autism-related emotional difficulties

The Problem We've Set Out To Solve

There was a 30% increase in mental health referrals following the pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic induced a mental health pandemic, leading to more young people being hospitalised for their mental health.

Despite 57% of all psychiatric wards having autistic CYP, there are no interventions for them. Whilst there is £300 million investment in transformation of mental health services, with view to reduce reliance on specialist services. There is an identified need for third sector organisations to take further action.There is a social focus on neurodivergence and mainstream mental health services have reported that autism is a social problem, not a mental health one, hence why there are no current services available.

Our Values

We are always internally inquisitive about our approach and curious about how we can grow and improve to better support our CyP
We will be 100% real. raw and honest. We are all a work in progress but we owe it to our Cp to manage expectations No BS allowed!
We all acknowledge and respond to the pain that emotion dysreg causes to ASD CYP and their families, we alwavs act with compassion
We move away from "helper-helpee" relationships and move towards hope-based collaboration and learning together
The best til last! Each young person using the service will feel they know their worth. can define their future and own their power.

Meet our Trustees

Zaynab Sohawon

I am CEO at EDA. A proud autistic and care leaver. EDA was borne out of my lived experience of being sectioned in secure and intensive care units for 4 years due to struggling to manage my emotions safely. Now I am a youth mental health advocate, having delivered a TEDx event, published a book and I have spoken at international conferences. I have a film made about me and 6 accolades to my name including a British Citizen Award and Diana Award. I strive to be the person to others that my past self needed.

When I am not being CEO, I am a student studying Human Neuroscience where I intend to study medicine and become a psychiatrist.

Adam Burns

I have an autistic daughter who also struggles with her mental health. Trying to find support was nearly impossible and we just got passed from pillar to post, so when I met ZeZe and she told me her vision for the EDA, I had to get involved so we can help families like mine.

Jacob Clark

I'm Jake, a Technology Director with over 10 years experience in the Leadership, Governance and Strategy space. I care deeply about helping organisations use technology to drive their impact. I advise EDA on our Digital, Technology and Growth strategy. I make sure we have working and secure tools/systems/data that helps us provide our serices to young people. I also have ADHD.

Angie Moore

As an ex-headteacher and someone who has always had a great professional interest in improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people, I was delighted to be asked by Zaynab (ZeZe) to consider becoming a Trustee of EDA. I also have a personal interest in becoming involved in the Charity in that my young grandson has a diagnosis of autism and pathological demand avoidance (PDA). I first met Zaynab when she was a student at my school and was delighted, when I met her again as a young adult, to invite her back into school to talk to our pupils about her newly published book and her personal mental health journey.

Although recently retired, I am still working on a part-time consultancy basis with schools on matters pertaining to emotional wellbeing and mental health and am also a school governor. I am very excited to be a Trustee of the Charity and am very much looking forward to working with Zaynab and my fellow Trustees on improving the outcome of children and young people who may be struggling with their own autism-related emotional difficulties.

Siân Lowri Griffiths

I’m Lowri, I am Mum of two, and an academic researcher specialising in young people’s mental health. I have a PhD and over 14 years’ experience of delivering clinical research within the NHS.

I have lived experience of mental health problems and I have experienced first-hand the everyday challenges of close family members who are neurodivergent. This has driven my passion for wanting to deliver real change to improve outcomes for young people struggling with their mental health.

Hazel Batau

James Harrison

Lisa Gray

Charlie Clement

Atanas Zahariev