Project team and News

Here are some of the people you might meet if you take part in the START trial.

Alexandra Hendry

Alex leads the START project. She is a is a developmental psychologist at the University of Oxford and will be running some of the assessment visits.

Maryna Nosyk

Maryna will be helping with the START toddler assessments. Maryna joins us from Ukraine where she has many years’ experience in diagnostic assessments, and working with children with special educational needs.

Jo Mackie

Jo helps to run the START sessions in Oxford. She is an experienced member of the Peeple team and has a particular interest in supporting children with additional needs

Lucy White

Lucy helps to run the START sessions in Oxford. Lucy has a background in family support, youth work and applied theatre and education and is the Growing Minds coordinator for Home-Start Oxford.

Other members of the START team, past and present

Jane Ihezie

Martina Smith

Victoria Hulks
Victoria Simcock

Camille Kalaja


Who developed the START programme?

The START programme has been developed by Dr Alexandra Hendry, in collaboration with Peeple. Dr Hendry is a developmental psychologist at the University of Oxford. She specialises in understanding the development of early executive functions – the thinking and regulation skills that allow us to control our impulses, think flexibly to solve problems, and set and work towards goals.

Peeple are a charity whose main purpose is to support parents or carers, babies and children to learn together. Their evidence-based Learning Together Programme is a strengths-based approach to working with families, focusing on doing with rather than doing to parents. The Learning Together Programme provides the foundations for the START programme but the content has been specifically developed with the needs and interests of parents and toddlers with a family connection to autism or ADHD in mind.

The START programme has been developed with input from autistic parents and parents who have a child with autism or ADHD (see Community Input page). The content has also been reviewed by Speech and Language and Early Years practitioners.

Who is delivering the START programme?

The START programme is being delivered by Peeple early years practitioners who have been specially trained in the START programme.

Who else is involved?

The project is being overseen by 2 groups: the project advisory group described on the Community input page, along with a Study Steering Committee. The members of the Study Steering Committee are: Tony Charman (Kings College London), Frances Gardner (University of Oxford), Cat Hughes (Autistica), Claire Hughes (University of Cambridge), Sandra Mathers (University of Oxford), Vanessa Raymont (University of Oxford), Sinead Rhodes (University of Edinburgh), Gaia Scerif (University of Oxford), Alan Stein (University of Oxford), Sally Smith (Peeple).

Ethical approval for the project has been granted by the University of Oxford Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee: (R67115/RE001).

The START feasibility trial is funded by NIHR: (NIHR300880).