Autism Charity Director Awarded MBE


The Together Trust’s Service Director, Jill Sheldrake, has been awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year honours list for services to looked-after children in the North West.

Jill has worked for the leading North West charity for twenty years, originally known as the Boys and Girls Welfare Society.

Fully embracing the mindset of making a positive difference through a number of care roles, Jill was promoted to become a manager of one of the charity’s children’s homes and went on to qualify as a social worker.  Her commitment and outstanding leadership skills in each of her roles saw Jill promoted to become the charity’s service director in 2014.

Jill said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this MBE, the continuing support from the committed team at the Together Trust has allowed me to be able to work with such a fantastic group of young people over the years.

“Supporting disadvantaged young people to reach their potential and overcome their barriers has always been my priority.”

The Together Trust believes that everybody deserves an equal chance in life and supports people with learning disabilities, complex health needs and autism to lead the life they choose.

Jill’s passion for the wellbeing of children in care led her to be a birthing partner for a care leaver.

Tricia Davenport, who came into the care of the Together Trust at the age of 13, met Jill when she worked in one of the charity’s residential homes.

At the age of 19, Tricia became pregnant and with Jill’s ongoing support Jill became Tricia’s birthing partner. The charity supported Tricia throughout the birth and afterward, ensuring she had everything she needed to look after her new born baby.

Tricia said: “Jill went above and beyond her role at the time of my daughter’s birth. She looked after me and visited me regularly to make sure I had everything I needed.

“I know Jill’s support has not just been to me. There are hundreds of young people and adults with whom she has supported over the years. Jill is an exceptional woman providing support to others before her own needs.”

Tricia now has three daughters, aged 20 months, 13 and 16 years and is working toward a woodwork, painting and decorating qualification at B4Box in Stockport.

Mark Lee, Chief Executive of the Together Trust added: “Jill has become a significant figure in the lives of very vulnerable young people in the North West and surrounding areas.

“Jill has shown unwavering dedication to young people no matter what their circumstance giving them time, care and understanding no matter what her own work pressure may be. She fully embraces the mindset of making a positive difference. Her honour is richly deserved.”

Along with residential care, the Together Trust provides specialist education, community services and fostering to over 2,600 young people, adults and their families each year.

To learn more about the Together Trust and it’s services, visit or call 0161 283 4848.