Grŵp Llandrillo Menai has created two brand new roles as part of its efforts to inspire all learners to achieve their potential.

As part of the TRAC 11-24 project, two Autism Mentors have recently been appointed to support those learners identified on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), to develop strategies to help them to overcome the difficulties that are associated with their ASD.

Elin Jones and Nicola Guy, who have been appointed as the Autism Mentors, will join the Grŵp’s Additional Learning Needs team, with Nicola working with learners at Coleg Llandrillo, and Elin working with Coleg Menai and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor learners.

The Autism Mentors will offer one-to-one sessions with learners to:

  • Develop a better understanding and awareness of their individual needs and how to ensure that these are met in college life and studies.
  • Design coping strategies and approaches that enable students to overcome barriers to learning and manage their studies successfully and independently.
  • Create person-centred strategies that support time management and organisation.
  • Establish routines that promote positive wellbeing.
  • Discover effective strategies that facilitate positive communication.
  • Signpost to other services for support when needed.

Nicola’s previous experience includes working with learners with ASD as both a Tutor and Learning Supporter, and has worked in particular with learners who often presented challenging behaviours or anxieties, to develop strategies to help them self-regulate.

Elin has an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis. She completed her placement in a special needs school, and from there went on to work on a one-to-one basis with a pupil with high-functioning autism in a mainstream primary school.

Samantha Mcilovgue, Director of Learner Services, said,

“This is an exciting development to provide additional support to our learners. We are looking forward to working with both Elin and Nicola and wish them both the best of luck in their new roles!”

Sharon O’Connor, Additional Learning Needs Manager at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said,

“It is estimated that 700,000 people in the UK have an autism diagnosis, and research has identified a distinct need to inclusively support the transition of autistic learners and meet their future education aspirations and needs. We’ve worked closely with young people and their families in the past and Nicola and Elin will most certainly further enhance the additional support available at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.”

TRAC 11-24 is a regional project led by Denbighshire County Council in partnership with Conwy County Borough Council, Anglesey County Council, Flintshire County Council, Gwynedd County Council, Wrexham County Borough Council, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Coleg Cambria and Careers Wales.

TRAC 11-24 is an EU funded project that is supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.