Alice Hastie - Access to Work Expert

Welcome to Sycamore Disability and Business. My name is Alice Hastie, and I'm here to provide you with clear guidance and support through all aspects of Access to Work - whether it’s applying for the first time, challenging a decision, implementing an award or requesting a change in circumstances. I’ll help you understand the process and make a solid case to get the help you deserve.


My Story

I used to work as a climate change research scientist for the Environment Agency. I had a whole career planned out within the organisation culminating with me being the CEO (obviously) and leaving a legacy of environmental protection and improvement. And then I became chronically unwell and everything changed. At 24 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and over the next six years I became progressively worse, working more and more part-time and flexibly until we admitted defeat. I ill-health retired when I had just turned 31.

Retiring was one of the worst moments of my life and I spent the next four years working to find meaning and purpose outside of the world of work. I learnt a lot in that time - how to slow down, appreciate the smaller things and value myself beyond what I could do and achieve.

However, I jumped at the chance to start working again when a friend of a friend was looking for an Access to Work Support Worker. After getting divorced I felt I did have the capacity to work the 11 hours per week being offered and, having spent the last 10 years caring for an AuDHD partner, I thought I would probably be very good at supporting an academic with ADHD.

Two years later and I am loving developing my business. I’ve worked to support several people (all Neurodivergent) in their careers and businesses and learnt vast amounts about Access to Work along the way. I have my own Access to Work award and Support Worker and can genuinely say it has been life changing. I work almost full time now and with all the support I have been given it’s getting easier all the time.

Recently I made the decision to move away from Support Work and help more people to get what they need out of Access to Work. I love the scheme - it is truly transformational - but it is extremely inaccessible to people who are struggling with fatigue, pain, executive functioning issues, overwhelm and poor mental health. Case Managers are inconsistent in their attitude and how much they gatekeep the support; the rules are misapplied; and claimants are subjected to stressful waiting periods with little communication about what needs to happen and when.

I am extremely passionate about helping neurodivergent, chronically unwell and disabled people get the support they need to stay in meaningful and financially rewarding work.

Since becoming a small business owner myself I can see how much easier it is to manage your own needs when you have full control over how, when and with who you work.


My Approach

I am calm, compassionate and known for wanting to help people. We are all unique - whether that’s because of being Neurodiverent, disabled, having caring responsibilities, being part of the LGBTQIA+ community - and we all have different needs. I work in whatever way works best for my client - I always want you to feel comfortable to be yourself and let me know what you need, even if you think it is ‘unusual’. Non-verbal at the moment? No problem, let’s Whatsapp. Need to wear headphones and stim while we talk? Go for it. Think best while walking? Let’s walk and talk.

I always try to be as clear and transparent about what is going to happen next as possible. If someone is a visual processor I might draw them a diagram. If you don’t understand what I’m saying it’s my job to explain it in a different way.


Get in Touch

I always love to chat. If you have questions about Access to Work - get in touch. Book a free 30 minute advice session Email:

Phone or Whatsapp: 07472458031

Looking forward to getting to know you


We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.