Dame Stephanie Shirley

Chairman's Report

ClickAnnual Report and Accounts March 2016.pdf  to download.

Chairman's Review Of The Year

It is my pleasure to present The Shirley Foundation’s 19th Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2016.

The foundation’s mission remains

facilitation and support of pioneering projects with strategic impact in the field of autism spectrum disorders with particular emphasis on medical research

and it continues to impact the autism sector both directly and indirectly via The Kingwood Trust, Prior’s Court School and Autistica charities. Over the past two decades, 75% of the grants given were to autism projects, 22% to information technology, and 3% to others (mainly learning disability not limited to autism). The impact of The Shirley Foundation’s pioneering projects is seldom immediate but rather more likely to be measured in years. 

This year the public benefit to the autism sector, which affects 700,000 people in the UK, has been largely via the National Autism Project (NAP). Its current activities are to increase the awareness (and hence reduce the associated stigma) of this perplexing disorder; for the autism sector to respond to cost pressures by working together in collegiate mode; and so move towards a more strategic approach to autism spectrum disorders. The initial phase of this has already led to a debate on autism in the House of Commons, the Westminster Commission on Autism chaired by Barry Sheerman MP, and early pledges to support NAP’s recommendations due out in October 2016, to be followed by an estimated 2+ years for implementation (extended from 18 months for Brexit).

We are also sponsoring Adam Feinstein to research and author a seminal book on the employment of people with autism; and funding the development of the World Health Organisation’s Quality of Life metrics to apply to autism.

I thank Eileen Hopkins and Dr Ian Ragan for their consultancy support and my co-trustees Professor Eve Johnstone CBE, Michael MacFadyen DL and Ann Menzies for their ongoing and strategic support.

Dame Stephanie Shirley

Chair of The Shirley Foundation

July 2016

Application for grants

Trustees currently meet annually but applications for support are received throughout the year. Only those within the foundation's Mission are considered; applicants are reminded that projects should be innovative in nature with the potential to have a strategic impact in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Research proposals should be aimed ultimately at determining causes of autism. Researchers should refer to the "Guidance: Application for a medical research grant" downloadable here.

In the first instance a simple letter with outline proposal should be sent to Dame Stephanie Shirley at the registered address or emailed using our contact form.

Registered address:

The Shirley Foundation
Videcom House
Newtown Road

Tel: 01491 579004
Fax: 01491 574995

Company No. 4705234
Charity No. 1097135

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