Board Members & Governance

The Kent Autistic Trust is established as a Company Limited by Guarantee.  It has no shareholders and is non-profit making.  Membership is by subscription and is open to all persons with an interest in autism.


The Trust is also registered as a Charity and is subject to the regulations of the Charity Commission.


The governing body of the Trust is the Board of Directors, which is elected by the membership of the Trust.

Board members are also Charity Trustees under charity law. The Board, whose members are voluntary and unpaid, determine policy and strategy, set priorities and give direction to the full time salaried staff of the Trust.

The Board is non-executive and does not participate in the day-to-day running of the Trust.


The founders of the Trust aimed to create an organisation that could be used by and be of benefit to individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. The scope, direction and expansion of the Trust’s activities is and will continue to be driven by these needs.


The Board welcomes interest from people in joining the Board. Meetings are held around four times a year in the evening in Gillingham, Kent.

To view our Articles of Association click here

If you would like to have an informal discussion about becoming a member of the Board.


Please contact: Head Office and request to discuss with Joint Chairs / Christine Edwards-Daem

01634 405168 or email

  • Nicola August

    Joint Chair

    As Partner at Furley Page Solicitors, I head the Vulnerable Client Team and I'm a specialist in elderly and vulnerable client matters. I have been an Approved Panel Deputy of the Court of Protection for some years and was successfully reappointed to the panel following a rigorous section process. I am also the only Panel Deputy in East Kent and Medway. Having worked with The Kent Autistic Trust for a number for years, I am delighted to join the Board and look forward to working for and on behalf of the Trust and its members.

  • Helen Jones

    Joint Chair

    Mother of Carl Jones, age 27 years who resides at Beaver Lane, Ashford, also mother of a daughter aged 23 years and granddaughter aged 1 year. I am employed as an Administration Manager at Magic Mend, Sittingbourne and have experiences of running businesses, a Public House and home for the elderly. My interests are going to the Gym, spending time with friends and holidays. I have been a Board Member for the Trust for over 20 years.

  • Phil White BSc, MSc. 


    I was a founder member of the Trust 25 years ago and also of the Kent Autistic Community Trust that preceded it. I was Chair of the Board for some 12 years, and before that was treasurer for a number of years.  My son, Nicholas, was in the care of the Trust. My background is in engineering, operational research and IT. I have experience of working in a wide range of industries, including charities.

  • Andrew (Jack) Warner


    I have been involved with the Trust for over 25 years. I am married with two sons, one who resides with the Trust. I also represent the Board on the Health and Safety Steering Group and chair the Service support Meeting. I am now retired but prior to this I was Facilities Manager for a large multi-national company. I have many interests including caravanning, gardening, golf, bowls, walking and cycling.

  • Gary Warner


    Gary is a Chartered Engineer. After qualifying with a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Asset Management he has held various engineering roles in the rail sector, most recently as Asset Lead on the Crossrail Project. He has been a trustee since 2008, he is passionate about ensuring the longevity and development of the Trust, whilst maintaining our excellent care standard. His spare time is enjoyed spending time with his wife and 3 daughters, he is also an avid cyclist when time allows, either getting covered in mud on his mountain bike in the country or road riding to the coast for a well-earned visit to the café!

  • John Fosker


    I retired in 2018 from a busy Commercial Insurance Broking business, holding the position of Managing Director from 2009. I had overall responsibility for finance, compliance, business operations and strategy.  I have a son who is cared for in KAT supported living and has been in the care of the Trust for 9 years. I  recognise the professionalism, kindness and compassion shown by KAT staff at every level.  In my spare time I play vets tennis, fish and spend time with my family and grandchildren.

  • Laura Smith


    Laura has been a trustee at KAT since 2011. She is currently Head of Construction and Manufacturing at the CBI, the UK's biggest business lobbying organisation having graduated with a BA in International Relations from Loughborough University back in 2010. Laura has a keen interest in politics and has developed her career in policy and lobbying and is interested in understanding how public policy decisions impact the Kent Autistic Trust. Outside of work she is completing a part-time Masters degree and is a keen but somewhat lapsed runner!

  • Martin Connolly


    I was part of the Operational Management Team at the Kent Autistic Trust for many years.  I am both a qualified teacher and mental health nurse and amongst my qualifications I have a Masters degree in Autism. I now work as a Community Mental Health Nurse in London for one of the largest NHS trusts in the country. I continue to have a passion about supporting autistic individuals, especially those who come into contact with mainstream services.  

  • Vickie Sampson


    I have been a member of KAT’s Board of Trustees for around 12 years. I have been a member of the Service Support Committee and am currently the Membership Secretary. I have a brother who is supported by the KAT for both residential and day services; I have seen first-hand the wonderful work that KAT employees do to provide care for people such as my brother, who has really benefitted from their expertise in dealing with challenging and difficult behaviour. His life is enriched as a result of their dedication and passion for helping others. I am a teacher at MidKent College, specialising in Sports Science, Gym Instructing & Personal Training, and Sport & Leisure Management. I have been with the college for 7 years, and (generally!) enjoy the challenge provided by the hundred or so predominantly 16-19 year olds I teach! Aside from my professional responsibilities, I love road cycling and gardening (although not simultaneously). I also enjoy adventure travel and try to squeeze in as much cycling, hiking and kayaking as I can into every trip! I am very proud to be part of the Kent Autistic Trust as we look to the future in order to identify ways in which we can continue to maintain and improve the exceptional service we offer to Autistic people who need our help and support.

  • Rasheed Said


     I am a housing professional with over 25 years’ experience in residential property management.  I have held management positions at  Newlon Housing Trust, Genesis Housing, and  Hyde Housing. I am currently working  at Thurrock Council where I manage the services delivering Right to Buy, Major Works, and Service Charges.  I recently joined the Board and look forward to working with other members of the Board during the period of growth for the Trust.

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Registered Charity Number - 801965

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