We are helping autistic people to find and progress in fulfilling employment through our new Tool Up Mentoring programme.

To read about becoming a mentor, scroll down.

  • Diagnosed or self-identify as autistic?
  • Struggling to find employment or progress in your current role?
  • Need to learn career skills?

Take a step towards a fulfilling career and join our free Tool Up mentoring programme.

We will hold an information meetings for mentees. Register to get a link.

Email:  toolup@ndsa.uk

It includes weekly one hour online one to one mentoring sessions, an online employment readiness course and an online support group. Online means via video calls or forum. Our Tool Up Mentoring programme will help you to formulate and progress towards your employment goal.

The mentoring deals with the complexity of the individual situation, helps to understand strengths, sort out a sense of direction and gain in confidence. It provides tailored support and accountability for progression.

In these difficult days amid the pandemic and rising unemployment it is normal to feel disoriented and disheartened. You could use this time and mentoring to help to find direction, explore your options and chart a pathway to a suitable sustainable career.

Employment provides a sense of fulfilment, recognition and belonging. Research has shown that employment is central to autistic sense of wellbeing and quality of life, yet 77% of autistic people are unemployed and want to work, 58% among them want and need some help getting into employment.

Mentoring helps – a little of the right support goes a long way. Feeling empathized with, accepted and validated is important. Our free mentoring programme is based on research  by Damian Milton et al.*, the prominent autistic autism researcher.

It showed that time-limited, goal-directed mentoring helps autistic people deal with challenges and realise potential & ambitions, it demonstrated progress into employment and an improvement to the wellbeing of autistic participants.

Our programme is based on Dr Milton’s study and designed with his participation and the valuable contribution of Dr Susy Ridout, the expert in neurodivergent mentoring. It is developed by autistic people for autistic people who are looking to get into meaningful employment or to change careers.

We are aiming to help autistic people to realise their potential and lead fulfilling lives, including achieving employment that meets their skills and aspirations, be it a vocational, admin or a professional career.

Our Tool Up Mentoring programme has three elements:

  1. One to one mentoring online, 1 hour per week for 20 weeks’
  2. An online support group,
  3. An online employment readiness and career skills course developed by autistic for autistic people.

Weekly person centred online one to one mentoring helps to formulate and progress towards your employment goal. It could be finding work, progressing within the current employment or even finding a voluntary position as a steppingstone into work.

The support group will provide peer support, advice and a sense of community and help to build positive autism identity that is also key for autistic wellbeing.

The Tool Up course will provide helpful resources and a timeline to underpin the mentoring and progression towards the personal goal. It will take you through various steps involved in preparing and applying for work and managing your career once in work. It provides a wealth of tips and resources tailored to autistic people.

This programme helps autistic people to realise their potential, achieve personal growth and connect to employment and to an online autistic community.

Have more questions? Contact us at : toolup@ndsa.uk

Below is the link to the registration form

Listen to the comments of past participants

Become a mentor

Looking for meaningful ways to volunteer?

Wanting to help to make a life changing difference?

Become a mentor! Email: toolup@ndsa.uk

All you’ll need is our training and your lived experience.

We are looking for people with broad range of personal and industry experience from software, game design and animation to massage and farming. People in creative industries and LGBT+, we want to hear from you now.

Please do register and we will come back to you soon.

Mentoring can provide a great sense of fulfilment and recognition. You could be helping an autistic adult to achieve life changing step into employment and develop your own mentoring skills. Our Tool Up programme will train and support mentors throughout the programme.

What is involved?

You will receive a comprehensive free online training developed and delivered by Dr Damian Milton and Dr Susy Ridout. You will also join a mentors’ online support group and receive individual support and ‘clinical’ supervision throughout the programme. You will mentor online one or if you prefer two autistic individuals to the rate of one hour per week for a duration of 20 weeks.

You would need to complete enrolment, mid-term and post programme questionnaires, attend the online training, consent to a DBS check and commit to 20 weeks of mentoring. You will receive payment of £13.2 per session.

  • Enrol as a mentor
  • Contact us at: toolup@ndsa.uk

*Martin, N.Milton, D.E.M.Sims, T.Dawkins, G.Baron-Cohen, S. and Mills, R. (2017), “Does “mentoring” offer effective support to autistic adults? A mixed-methods pilot study”, Advances in Autism, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 229-239. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-06-2017-0013

Information meeting for prospective mentors

We will be holding our next meeting for new mentors on 3rd April 2023 at 6pm and 10th April 2023 at 6pm

Tool Up Mentoring Programme helping autistic people in and into work. Zoom link will be shared with you accordingly.

The Tool Up programme in Buckinghamshire is funded by the UK by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fundprospectus