Dame Stephanie Shirley

The Shirley Foundation's current mission is:

Facilitation and support of pioneering projects with strategic impact in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders, with particular emphasis on medical research.

Please click here to read GAP article 'Celebrating 20 years of The Shirley Foundation'. 

Social investments (in roughly chronological order) include:

The Kingwood Trust (later Autism at Kingwood)
Residential support service for adults with autism – later extended to include Kingwood College.

Worshipful Company of Information Technologists
To establish its charitable arm and purchase the IT Hall – the first new livery hall in the City for 50 years.

Prior's Court School
State-of-the-art day and residential school for pupils with autism, learning disability and challenging behaviours. Later extended to include Young Adult Centre.

Lifetime Economics
Study of the family and national costs of autism.

Good Autism Practice
Funding the launch issue of this journal.

Autism99
Web conference on autism "attended" by 65,000 people worldwide.

Beyond the Material
The faith needs and role of spirituality in the lives of people with learning disability.

Distance Learning Certificate
A web-based Level 1 course in supporting people with autism. Later extended to be international.

Volprof charity talks
A series of talks for voluntary community organisations on key management issues.

Music for children with autism
A series of concerts by the Orchestra of St John's and start-up of charity.

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Autism
To establish this group to lobby Parliament on autism issues.

The Fundamental Facts
Reference guide for all issues relating to people with learning disability.

Autismconnect
Portal website on autism. Later combined with Autism Cymru's AWARES.

Ryecroft Assessment
An outreach autism support project.

Communication Intervention
Research leading to book "Enabling Communication in Children with Autism".

Institute of Trustees
Feasibility of developing an Institute of Charitable Trustees.

Giles Shirley House
Provision (for Wirral Autistic Society, now Autism Plus) of state-of-the art IT facilities in heritage centre with accommodation for 12 adults with autism in a former derelict village hall.

Virtual City
Environments to develop social skills amongst adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Autism Research Centre
Education CDs to teach emotional cues to people with autism.

Autism West Midlands
School for pupils with autism.

Scottish Society for Autism (later Autism Scotland)
A cross-party Parliamentary Group on autism spectrum disorders including a Parliamentary & Policy Officer post for an initial three years. Later cancelled.

OK Club
A Centre for young people run on Christian principles for those of all faiths.

Housing Options
A home ownership service for adults with autism.

Architects' Guide
A definitive book "Designing for Special Needs" published by RIBA.

Edinburgh School
Refurbishment and improvements to a small autism-specific unit.

Welsh School
Saving this school for pupils with autism from closure.

Public Information Booklet and Guide to Commissioning Services
Quality booklets on autism.

Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
Design and build of website.

Disability Equality in Education
Training of people with learning disabilities to contribute to the training for inclusion offered to schools, colleges and education authorities.

Psychological Aspects of Autism
Equipment and patient expenses to brain scan people with autism.

Medical Research
Kaspar, National Alliance for Autism Research in both US and UK, Autism Speaks and Autistica.

Amici Dance Theatre
Support group integrating actors with physical and learning disabilities with neurotypical performers.

Oxford Internet Institute
After an initial feasibility study, this multi-disciplinary institute studies the internet's impact on all aspects of society.

King Ecgbert's School
A national centre of excellence and demonstration project on inclusive employment of young people.

Resources for Autism
Various services for people with autism and a three year National Advice & Expert Witness Service.

PACE for the future
Autism campaign to improve educational resources for children with autism. Later merged with Treehouse (now Ambitious about Autism).

World Autism Organisation
Support of overseas attendances to an international autism conference.

10th World Music Therapy Conference
Funding of autism therapy presentation.

Sleep Disorders in children with autism
Randomised controlled study of behavioural treatment of sleep problems in children with autism.

Resources for Autism
Feasibility study for WHO's autism awareness "Autism & Asperger's Syndrome – A World Perspective".

Epidemiology of Asperger's
Prevalence study amongst Cambridgeshire school children.

PEACH
Development of clinical services and evaluation of national programme to support parents in the use of LOVASS methodology for autism.

Autism Awareness Year 2002
Co-funding with the Disabilities Trust and BIBIC.

Autism Awareness Days
Support for two years' activity.

Funding Advisory Service
Free advice to autism not-for-profits for up to two days to organise their fundraising campaigns. Later withdrawn.

New Philanthropy Capital Autism Review
Report on the need for, and metrics of, autism across Europe.

New York School for Autism
Unrestricted grant.

Economic Consequences of early intervention for Autism
Included update of earlier lifetime costs study.

Autism Research Centre fellowship
Study of how the autistic brain distinguishes itself from others.

History of Autism: Conversations with Pioneers
Study of the development of the autism sector worldwide, published by Wiley Blackwell.

IT Infrastructure scanner
Second mock scanner to assist users with autism and other disorders.

Historical Collections Centre
Feasibility and acquisition of the Church of St Cross for Balliol.

Hoffman Foundation for Autism
Support of work by autistic artists.

WHO – Europe
Sponsorship of project with Conference: European Declaration on Health of Children and Young People with Intellectual Disabilities and their families.

WHO – Global
Increasing WHO's capacity in child mental health to respond to the needs of children with developmental disorders, including autism.

Mortality and Morbidity in People with Autism
A preliminary study only.

An Ordinary Life
To identify innovative solutions to support families with a technology-dependant child by developing personalised and family-centred methods of care.

Patrick Wild Centre for Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities
Microscopy Unit including staff and consumables (rats).

Paintings in Hospitals
To facilitate an Autism and Disability Loan Scheme.

Roundway Centre
Pre-school Autism Communication Therapy.

Ethics of Asperger's syndrome
PhD study.

University of Oxford
Research into minicolumns as brain markers for autism.

Specialisterne, Ireland
Employment of people with Asperger's.

Global Health Network
Community of practice for autism spectrum research.

National Autism Project
Think Tank for autism to inform national strategy.

ChAPS
Respite service for autism.

Parliamentary Autism Lunch
Roundtable discussion to consider challenges ahead.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
Longitudinal comparison study with regressive autism.

Autism Works
Book on employment of people with autism.

Research Autism
Quality fo life metrics for autism.

Autism at Kingwood
Blog on puberty/sexuality for autism.

Autism Advisory Taskforce
Study for inclusion of under-represented people with ASD.

Speaking Schedule

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The speaking schedule of philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley

Articles, Blogs, Press
and Media

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Articles about Dame Stephanie Shirley and her support for autism charities

Let IT Go

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The acclaimed,
inspiring memoirs of Dame Stephanie Shirley
The story of Dame Stephanie Shirley
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Art Collection

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Dame Stephanie
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An inspiring biography of Dame Stephanie Shirley