The PDA Society is delighted to announce the appointment of its first Chief Executive, Helen Evans.

Helen joins as an openly autistic woman with a personal connection to PDA, and a passion for neurodiversity. She brings a wealth of experience running neurological charities, having previously led Cavernoma Alliance UK and most recently Dravet Syndrome UK, and was formerly Oxfam’s Global Head of Safeguarding.

Established in 1997 and registered as a charity in 2016, the PDA Society provides information, support and training about PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance, a profile on the autism spectrum) for individuals, families and the professionals working with them.

This appointment marks a major milestone in the PDA Society’s history in its 5th year as a registered charity. As Chair of Trustees, Sally Russell OBE, comments:

“Understanding of PDA has come a long way since the PDA Society was founded, however many professionals still don’t recognise PDA. This postcode lottery is a huge barrier to individuals receiving the understanding and support they need, which is leading to unnecessarily poor outcomes for this group of autistic people and their families. With the appointment of our first Chief Executive, we look forward to furthering our reach and remit to improve acceptance of PDA.”

And as incoming Chief Executive, Helen Evans, reflects:

“I know through personal experience the enormously positive difference the PDA Society is making to the lives of the PDA community. The information resources, training, enquiry line and other services are one of a kind and a lifeline for many. It’s a great privilege to join the charity as their first Chief Executive and to support the Trustees to further the charity’s mission.”

Helen Evans starts her role with the PDA Society on 19th July.

Third Sector Magazine also published this article about Helen’s appointment: Oxfam whistleblower to become first chief executive of autism charity