The Retreat has further strengthened its children and young people’s autism service with the appointment of specialist administrator Amanda Donato. As a parent of a child with autism herself, Amanda fully understands the difficulties associated with accessing the right help and treatment – experience which she puts into practice when helping families access our services. She explained: “Child mental health service is close to my heart and something I am very passionate about. I have been through the service as a parent, which means I understand how hard, frustrating and also rewarding at times it can be. I can relate to the referral process from the point of view of parents who are anxious about what to expect. “Working in the children’s service is so rewarding – just to see a child or young person gain a little bit of confidence, makes it all worthwhile for me as an administrator.”