Alison Thwaite appointed as WorkFit Employment Development Manager (May 2018)

We are delighted to announce that Alison Thwaite has been appointed Employment Development Manager for the WorkFit programme on a permanent basis, following a six-month interim appointment.

Alison has been with the DSA since April 2015 as Employment Development Officer (EDO) for the North of England. During her time as an EDO she also took on responsibility for the Birmingham area.

In the last three years she has created 64 placements for her candidates, including 33 paid jobs. In 2016 Alison was recognised at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Skills for Business Awards and by the British Association of Support Employers (BASE) as Practitioner of the Year.  In the last year Alison has continued to develop opportunities for people with Down’s syndrome and has also been supporting WorkFit colleagues in the North West (Fran Austin) and Yorkshire & Humberside (Cat Rolley) following the expansion of the team due to significant demand for the WorkFit programme.

Alison is excited by the opportunity to lead the WorkFit programme. Her priority is to support the experienced and dedicated WorkFit team in delivering this valuable and much needed programme. While continuing to work directly with candidates and employers, Alison will be overseeing the strategic direction of the programme and liaising with colleagues in fundraising to ensure continuity.  She said “My professional background is HR management and commercial development and I have been working with people who have Down’s syndrome in a voluntary capacity for over 12 years, following the birth of my niece, Olivia who inspires me every day. Since joining the Down’s Syndrome Association three and half years ago I have loved every minute of working with our jobseekers and their employers. I have met many supportive and inclusive employers who understand the benefits of employing someone with Down’s syndrome. Supporting a jobseeker to achieve their career ambitions, develop new skills, expand their social circle and grow in confidence is very rewarding and I feel very privileged to be part of the WorkFit programme”

WorkFit supports people with Down’s syndrome to access meaningful work opportunities that can benefit the rest of their lives. For more information about WorkFit please contact the team on 0333 12 12 300 or email us on

For more information visit the WorkFit website: