Meet the Team


Welcome to the
“Axia Team”

Due to the expansion of Axia ASD Ltd Dr Linda Buchan reviews every referral received to match the skills of our clinicians with the patient’s experiences and requirements. Dr Buchan joins every diagnostic assessment where possible and clinically appropriate. In addition Dr Buchan reviews every clinical report issued by Axia ASD Ltd.

For children assessed by our service, all appointments are multidisciplinary in accordance with NICE Guidelines.

Please Note: We try to keep photos on our meet the team page current, although hairstyles, facial hair, glasses, makeup and the like, may possibly change.


Dr Linda Buchan
Consultant Clinical Psychologist,
Clinical Governance Lead,
Founder and Director of Axia ASD Ltd.

My name is Dr Linda Buchan. I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, qualified since 1978.

Axia-ASD Ltd is one of the top providers of services for adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We use a model of partnership to ensure that individuals and families lead the process, and therefore obtain the most accurate diagnosis and the most appropriate individual support.

 

Calvin
Calvin Atkinson
Director of Axia ASD Ltd.
Self-proclaimed Nerd Consultant
and Head of Axia’s Film Society.

Calvin graduated from the University of Chester in 2012 with a BSc Honours in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. His first role with the company was as personal chef, catering for all Axia ASD Ltd’s meetings and baking cakes for the post-diagnostic support group.

He has gone on to evolve his role and is now head of Axia’s Film Society, cohosts the Anime vlog, and provides “nerd consultancy” to the clinicians.

He has now completed writing his book entitled “The Nerd Consultant’s Guide to Anime”


Sue Power
Company Secretary and Educational Lead

My name is Sue Power and I am proud to have been appointed as Company Secretary and Educational Lead for Axia. I am also responsible for managing and developing the company’s Resource Centre.

I am a qualified Secondary School Teacher, Specialising in English. Before qualifying as a teacher, I worked as a Teaching Assistant and Youth Worker, which allowed me to engage with young people both in and out of an educational setting. As a Youth Worker and also a volunteer for Girlguiding UK, I have experience with working with children from the age of 5. During this time, I have gained insight into the importance of organisations working together to ensure the best possible support is provided for children and young people; I feel passionate about helping all individuals to achieve their full potential. I believe that working in partnership with schools is key.

Previous to my career in the Education Sector, I also have many years’ experience in Customer Services and administration.


Dr Hannah Williamson
Clinical Psychologist

I’m Hannah and I qualified from the University of Liverpool Clinical Psychology Doctorate in 2018. Prior to training I worked in hospital and community settings in Middlesbrough and Cumbria, supporting Autistic people and people with a learning disability with their mental health and wellbeing. During training I gained invaluable experiences working psychologically within a variety of services including learning disability, university student health, paediatric physical health, and older adult mental health. I then chose a specialist placement at Axia due to my passion for working with and celebrating neurodiversity. I was struck immediately by the values of partnership, candour, empowerment, and strengths-based thinking here. I loved the ethos and approach within Axia so much, I had to come back to work here when I qualified!

At Axia my works includes diagnostic assessments, post-diagnostic support and psychological therapy. I always endeavour to work in partnership with people, to arrive at a shared and meaningful understanding of their strengths and difficulties. When working therapeutically, I work collaboratively and draw from a range of models and approaches, to ensure the work is person-centred and supports people to reach their own goals. I am passionate about adapting psychological therapy to suit the individual, and about supporting people to explore the links between their neurodiversity, mental health, and physical wellbeing.


Sheena Mansell
Associate Consultant

My name is Sheena. I have been privileged to work with Axia ASD Ltd since 2018, when I joined as a Clinical Psychologist. I decided to retire in early 2021, and so I no longer have a clinical role with the company.

I am mum to James, a young man who is on the Spectrum. In 2016, I made a short Digital Story about my experiences, called Toil. You can see it here.

I will be continuing to do some work with the Axia staff team, using my various experiences, ideas and skills to provide one-off consultancy, for example. During the rest of my time, you can find me pottering about on my allotment, sowing seeds, growing veg and most of all, getting rid of weeds! Soon, I hope to be able to start going to rock gigs again too!!


David Reiser
Highly Specialised Speech and Language Therapist.
PGDip. Autism.

David qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1985 but got the computer bug in the final year of the degree and started a career in IT for the next 18 years! However, memories of the fascination he held with his original degree subject drew him back into the profession in 2004 when he joined Cheshire NHS Trust as a Therapist. Over the next 8 years he worked in the paediatric department running clinics, working in schools, special schools and nurseries during which time he developed a particular interest in Early Years and the presentation of neurodevelopmental difficulties such as autism and ADHD.

On leaving the NHS in 2012, he started his own practise being engaged by educational settings and individual clients and also focusing on identification, support and training in the area of autism spectrum conditions often working in partnership with other professionals in the field. He is a member of the National Autistic Society and accredited by The Society (Lorna Wing Centre) to use the DISCO autism diagnostic methodology. In addition, he is qualified in use of the ADOS-2 and the ADI-R diagnostic instruments. He is a founding Trustee and now volunteer for Autism Inclusive. He is an ELKLAN, ICAN and Hanen tutor and regularly provides training in the areas of autism, speech, language and communication, in educational settings and for parents.


Kathryn Alexander
Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner.

I’m Kathryn, I qualified as an occupational therapist (OT) in 2000 from University of Liverpool. I worked in the NHS until 2011, all within community paediatric services in schools, nurseries, homes and clinics. Since 2011 I have worked independently developing a passion for sensory integration, and completed post-graduate training in Ayres Sensory Integration initially with the Sensory Integration Network, and more recently with ASI-WISE.

I love been an OT as the core values are to support others with meaningful functional skills so everyday is different from working with children on handwriting, a teenager with anxiety or helping individuals understand the link between hugs, swinging and self regulation.

Away from work I am a scout leader and enjoy spending time with my family or working on my latest crochet project.


Dr Anna Haigh
Clinical Psychologist
 
My name is Anna and I qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2011. Alongside my professional training I also draw from my personal experiences of growing up in a neurodiverse family to inform my work. I strongly believe that any assessment should focus on the strengths and resources of an individual, whilst also hearing and acknowledging the challenges and difficulties that a person faces.
 
Prior to qualifying as a Psychologist I worked as a researcher and teacher for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, as well as people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Since qualifying I have worked in a range of areas including mental and physical health and learning disability services. I offer specialist legal assessments and reports for court hearings as well as actively working with families to complete and implement Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). I am thrilled to be a part of Axia-ASD and look forward to offering assessments, follow-up appointments and therapy. I draw from a range of psychological models including CBT and am a trained Cognitive Analytic Therapist (CAT).
 

Dr Mary Fearon
Clinical Psychologist

I’m Dr Mary Fearon, until recently a consultant clinical psychologist for the NHS where I specialised in the assessment of adults whose behaviours and experiences led them to believe they may have autism or be, in some other way, neuro-developmentally different to the majority of their peers. I also provided psychologically-informed support and therapy to those who were found to meet the diagnostic criteria for autistic spectrum disorder and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I see neuro-developmental differences as being just that – a difference, not a deficit. There are positives associated with these differences, though people may need support to be able to identify those positives and to find ways of using them to overcome some of the difficulties.

Prior to specialising in working with adults with neuro-developmental differences, I worked with people with learning disabilities who may (or may not) also have autism, ADHD, sensory issues or co-ordination difficulties. Throughout my career, I have worked with people in all age groups who were experiencing distress due to any number of reasons including mental health issues, painful life events or relationship issues.

Having been trained, many years ago now, by Dr Linda Buchan and Prof Hilton Davies in the partnership model, my practice is firmly rooted in the belief that people are the experts on themselves. This is not to deny or belittle my own expertise, it is simply recognition that equal respect should be given to each person’s knowledge. Proper understanding of the difficulties that have lead someone to seek help comes from the pooling of that person’s expertise and that of an experienced clinician.


Tracy Henney
Associate Teacher.

Hello! I’m Tracy and I have just started work as a Teacher Associate with Axia working remotely contacting schools and colleges. I qualified as a primary teacher in 2003 and I have worked in mainstream and Special School settings across the Key Stages, and also as a SENCo. I am a certified PSHE practitioner and co-ordinated Healthy Schools and International Schools work. I enjoyed developing my skills as a Special School teacher, running Attention Autism and Lego Therapy interventions.

Being part of a school helps you appreciate the importance of working alongside multi-disciplinary colleagues to provide the best educational offer for pupils, and it is great to be part of such a team here at Axia.

Prior to teaching, I started my working career as a residential social worker in a Bail and Probation Hostel. I subsequently qualified as a social worker and continued to work for a number of years as a Probation Officer with young offenders, high risk offenders and also in court settings.


Sarah Chierico
Occupational Therapist

Hi, my name is Sarah, I am an occupational therapist. As an autistic adult and parent to 2 wonderful autistic young people, I have a significant amount of lived experience of neurodiversity and this has been a key driver in my personal and professional development.

I am passionate about supporting families and parents to achieve the best outcomes through education and training. For the past 6 years, I have been employed as a community development worker, offering support and training for professionals and parents as part of Liverpool’s Neurodevelopmental diagnostic pathway. This work provides a range of learning opportunities for professionals, teachers and families living with sensory integration and processing differences, autism, ADHD and eating difficulties.

My areas of special academic and clinical interest include neuroscience, Ayres’ Sensory Integration and sensory-based eating difficulties. I also love food especially chocolate, swimming, watching old episodes of Star Trek and long walks with my cute beagle puppy Pumpkin.

Sarah Chierico M.Chem (Medicinal Chemistry with Spanish). PG Cert (TESOL) and BSc Occupational Therapist.


Dr Fran Washington
Clinical Psychologist

I’m Fran and I qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2018. Prior to this, I had the privilege of working in a number services supporting children and adults on the Autistic Spectrum and people with learning disabilities with their mental health and well-being. During my clinical training, I gained valuable experience and skills from working in a range of NHS mental health services, including specialist learning disability, CAMHS, and homeless teams.

Prior to qualifying, I had the opportunity to attend a training event with Axia. The partnership model at the centre of the service was one that strongly aligned with my own values. Promoting true collaboration, by developing a joint understanding of an individual’s and family’s strengths and challenges, is something I continue to strive for in all aspects of my clinical work. Having friends and family who are neurodiverse has also informed my passion for working in this area and highlighting their incredible strengths.

Since qualifying, I have worked in a specialist service working with gender diverse young people and their families and networks. Alongside offering assessment and psychosocial support, I also continue to work with a group of clinicians to focus on improving the accessibility of the service, acknowledging cultural, ethnic, and neuro-diversity.

I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of the Axia team. My work here includes diagnostic assessments, post-diagnostic support, and psychological therapy. Within therapy, I draw on a range of models and ways of working to ensure that therapeutic sessions are adapted to the individual strengths and difficulties of each person, family, and context.


Jacqui Brett
Specialist Occupational Therapist

My name is Jacqui Brett, I am a specialist occupational therapist with my most recent NHS experience in inpatient Children and Adolescent Mental Health and Community teams.

Having gained my first degree in Law I was inspired to retrain as an occupational therapist when I suspected my daughter was autistic. I decided then that I wanted to give neurodiverse individuals a voice; to allow their story to be told authentically and support them to live according to their values and aspirations.

Occupational therapy provides a unique lens with which to view functional challenges and environmental adaptations; however I use a range of approaches to understand the individuals I work with, to complete robust assessments, establish evidence-based reports and appropriate, person centred recommendations.

Autism, sensory differences, and mental health are my professional passions. I have focused much of my additional research and training around these core areas and spent time volunteering and working with the National Autistic Society.

My personal interests include baking, sewing, DIY, watching sweet and silly television shows and having dance offs with my daughter.

I have chosen to work with Axia as I find their values and strengths-based approach is congruent with my own. Their friendly, knowledgeable team ensures that there is a range of clinicians available to support the diagnostic process and beyond.


Dr Michelle Hacking
Clinical Psychologist

Hello! My name is Michelle, and I’m a Clinical Psychologist with Axia. I have worked with children and young people with Autism and Learning Disabilities since 2007, and graduated from the University of Liverpool Clinical Psychology Doctorate in 2018. My passion is working with Autistic people, and I work three days a week for the NHS in a specialist Autism and LD service within CAMHS.

My approach is always person-centred, and I aim to work alongside adults, young people, and families around meeting their individual needs, and working collaboratively on what is important in their lives. I enjoy a variety of activities within my work, including assessment, therapeutic interventions, teaching and training, systemic family work, and behavioural approaches. Within my NHS role, I provide post-diagnostic support for children and families receiving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, courses for parents based around Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), and a rolling training programme for professionals who would like to learn more about Autism. I am currently training in Eye movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is a therapy used to alleviate distress caused by trauma, or adverse life experiences.


Chloe Millington
Assistant Psychologist

My name is Chloe and I originally joined Axia back in 2019 as a temporary member of the Admin team.

After recently completing my Psychology degree at Bangor University, I have been fortunate enough to return back to Axia with the new role of Assistant Psychologist.

When I am not in work I enjoy keeping busy with friends and family.

I love working at Axia as it is such a welcoming and supportive family. I’m looking forward to continue to learn and develop my skills as part of this team.


Alexandra (Alex) Rawnsley
Assistant to Company Secretary / Office Manager

My name is Alexandra Rawnsley (Alex) and I started at Axia in February 2019 as an Administrative Assistant. When I joined Axia, it felt like becoming part of a new family. Now I definitely feel like I have completely settled in! I really enjoy being part of the team here and am delighted to have been promoted to Assistant to Company Secretary / Office Manager, and I love managing our busy little office.

Part of the reason I wanted to work with Axia was to be able to make a difference to people’s lives and having been here for over a year now, I do believe that I have the opportunity to do that on a daily basis. Working with people who are neurodiverse is close to my heart as I have family and friends who are Autistic and have ADHD.

My background includes working as a Legal Assistant for around 15 years and prior to that, in the insurance sector for around 7 years.

I have qualifications in Dementia care and management techniques and have completed an Open University course entitled ‘People, Work and Society’, which was really interesting.

I live in Chester with my 14 year old daughter and our 2 cats. We love watching films (the cats included) and I also enjoy a good box set. ‘Game of Thrones’ quotes and references usually end up making an appearance in the office when having a discussion with Sue Power!


Evie Connor
Psychology Intern
 
My name is Evie and I joined Axia in August 2019 as an Office Temp after moving to Chester from Edinburgh. From there I became the Education and Events Administrator and now have the role of Psychology Intern, working remotely from Scotland. I am in my first year of studying Psychology with Counselling at The Open University, and of course it is very useful to have the wealth of knowledge at Axia at my fingertips!

I have recently bought my first house which is very exciting. Alongside working and studying full time and renovating my house, I love to spend time with my family and friends and go on long walks with my two dogs (and wild haggis spotting of course!).


Maja Enya
Administrative Assistant

Hi, I’m Maja! Previously part of the office admin team, I now do a bit of typing from home, including the weekly film reviews. I love this company and the people in it, and am glad to still be even a small part of it. I am now a Journalism student at Sheffield University and aspiring writer.


Esme Hayes
Assistant to Clinical Psychologists and Administrators

Hi! My name is Esme. I’m currently in my second year at The University of Manchester studying Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology and hope to work in the Cognitive Health Sector in the future.

I originally joined Axia as a volunteer in July 2019 and now work as an assistant to both the admin and clinical psychologist team and I am extremely grateful to be accepted into such a supportive, passionate team.

I have previously worked in hospitality and I make the best cuppa in Axia, if I do say so myself!


Eli Parry
Administrative Assistant

Hi, I’m Eli, Administrative Assistant at Axia.

Having worked here previously as a temp, I am thrilled to be back working with such an amazing team of people.

My two Ratties are Odin and Heimdallr. They say Hi!

I also have a Leopard Gecko named Rags. (She didn’t say anything and wondered why her human thought she could speak in the first place.)


Carly Daltrey
Administrative Assistant

Hi, I am Carly. I have worked for Axia since November and have loved being part of the Admin Team.

I am a mum of 3 young children who keep me very busy. In my spare time I enjoy riding my horse, Frankie, who I part own with my mum, Bev, who is also part of the Axia family.

I am very much looking forward to my future here at Axia.


Cath Williams
Administrative Assistant

My name is Cath. I started working at Axia as an Administrative Assistant in December. Until I joined Axia I worked in the legal sector as a legal secretary for 20 years so working at Axia is very different to what I’ve been used to! Everyone at Axia is really nice and has made me feel welcome. The work is interesting and I’m settling in really well.

I have a young family at home (and a hamster called Marshmello) and I love spending time with them when I’m not at work. I enjoy reading and try to swim at least twice a week to keep me fit. I also enjoy any activities that are outdoors as I love the fresh air.

I’m looking forward to working with everyone at Axia for the foreseeable future.


Bev Lonergan
Part-Time Domestic Assistant

Hi everyone, I’m Bev, the new domestic worker on the team. I enjoy horse riding, gardening, cooking and family life. I have two grown up children and five grandchildren and I’m also a carer for my brother Martin.

So pleased to join the team.
 

Renwick Bromiley
Mental Health Nurse and Anime Amigo.

Hi, I’m Renwick (silent ‘w’), but please just call me Ren.

I’m a newly-qualified Mental Health Nurse, having just graduated from Bangor University this year, and am incredibly excited to put my freshly acquired knowledge to good use!

I have been a member of Axia’s amazing team for four years and have fulfilled a variety of roles, working first in administration; then (and still) in Nerd Consultancy as a member of the Anime Amigos; and I am now branching into a diagnostic role, heading neurodevelopmental assessments.

I am a colossal Nerd, and love anime, Magic: The Gathering, Lord of the Rings, and Warhammer, even though my pile of unpainted miniatures judges me as it languishes dejectedly in a forgotten corner of my room…

I have diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (predominantly inattentive type) and Irlen Syndrome, and, as a neurodiverse person, feel very accepted and understood within the Anime Amigos and Axia ASD.


Reece Imiolek
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

After first being referred to Axia in July 2015, I was diagnosed by Dr Linda Buchan with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Dyspraxia when I was 21.

Since my diagnosis I joined the Post Diagnosis Support Group run by Axia and got to meet the wonderful staff as well as “The Nerd Consultant” Calvin Atkinson, where after we discovered we were both passionate about Anime.

After much deliberation on how we could use our shared interest to benefit Axia, Calvin and I decided to found the Anime Amigos in March 2017 with myself as the co-founder and Calvin as the leader of our sect. Then on an almost monthly basis we have been creating and uploading podcasts based on various topics e.g. Seasonal anime, films and recently Video game conferences with e3. To Calvin’s YouTube channel (Since our separate channel we created was not performing on par with the main channel)

Another part of what I do for Axia is create reviews for new and existing video games (Mainly focusing on Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation5). Although most of my reviews tend to go into way too much depth on said games (See my Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart review for details as it’s nearly 3,500 words long)

Apart from the Anime Amigos and video game reviews, I am also part of Axia’s “Journal Club” where we review the latest in academic literature relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related topics so we can create our own research.


Elliot Chapman
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

I started going to the Post Diagnostic Support Groups at 18 after dropping out of college due to anxiety. After over a year of attending I joined the Anime Amigos as a regular co-host.

Since then, I remain the glorious yet mildly annoying jokester of the Anime Amigos, and I’ve also started working on a number of game reviews and have been bringing my nerdy insight to other projects that our Nerd Consultant works on. 

Aside from anime and video games, I have a very unhealthy obsession with Dungeons and Dragons, card games (most notably Cardfight Vanguard and Magic the Gathering), metal music and fantasy books, to the point where I’m writing one but am barely anywhere in it. I also have a little dog named Ripley that everyone loves.


Dream
“Philosopher, Truth Seeker and Questioner”
Author of “Mental Models of Reality –
A Diatribe by Dream”

Voluntary Helper to the Axia Team as
“Guest ‘IT’ Consultant” –
(whatever “IT” actually IS?!?)


The Next Axiais virtual on 6th October
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Get in Touch

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