Increased staff capacity since September 2012 has meant that we have been able to expand the work of Aspire across Cambridge by setting up new groups and offering important youth club places to more young people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions. These clubs provide a safe and supportive space to enjoy activities such as lego, sport, cooking and computer games.
One of the most exciting developments is a new Aspire group for young people who are over 18. This new group, known as ‘Aspire Plus’, will give young adults the opportunity to build on their like skills, looking at topics such as managing money, cooking, CV writing and socialising independently with one another. These young people are also encouraged to undertake volunteer placements within their areas of interest.
It is very exciting to be able to offer much needed support for young people within this age group who have Autistic Spectrum Conditions, particularly as there is very little other provision in Cambridge.
One member of the Aspire Plus group has been involved in Romsey Mill for a number of years. He decided to raise money for Romsey Mill by having his head and face shaved. Samuel says “having attended an Aspire group, I know what a difference it can make. I want to help raise funds so that groups can grow to help more people…it really is vital work!”
While many people do this kind of fundraising activity for charity, this is no mean feat for Samuel who is very sensitive to sensory stimuli so finds it very difficult to have anyone touching his head. It is a great challenge for him, but one that he has embraced because he has experienced the benefits of the Aspire programme himself.
Samuel had his head shaved in December and raised over £600 for Romsey Mill.