Thursday 9th December, 2021

Christmas Appeal 2021: Jacob's Story

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A Life Changing Gift - Jacob's Story


Our Christmas Appeal this year is focusing on the work of Aspire and its positive impact on the lives autistic young people and their families in Cambridgeshire.

Here, in their own words, is the difference that Aspire has made in one young man's life:

Hello my name is Jacob.

I’m 25 and this is my experience with Aspire.

It all began back in primary school in year 6 when I was involved with the transfer programme to help me transition from primary to secondary school. The transfer programme took me on my first residential with Romsey Mill which was a lot of fun and I met some new people who were similar to me.

Life before being involved in Romsey Mill was challenging because I found myself in mainstream schools where I felt I wasn’t supported in the way that I should have been.

I started going to the amazing Aspire clubs at Romsey Mill soon after I started secondary school and they were the best times of my life to be honest. It was amazing to not only socialise but to be around other autistic people my age.

At the Aspire youth clubs I met some amazing people who I am still friends with now. We see each other every week and socialise just like Aspire showed us to do over all those years. Aspire taught me some very important life skills that I still use to this day.

Without the confidence I gained through Romsey Mill I wouldn’t have been able to perform one of my greatest achievements in life which was to talk in front of my entire year group in year seven about autism, which brought me admiration from all of my peers.

After I finished attending Aspire for myself age 19, I became a volunteer to help out with the younger people, who are doing what I did all those years ago. I now volunteer twice a week on a Monday and Thursday evening.

What can I say about volunteering?

I absolutely love it.

I can reminisce about all the good times I had when I was a youth club member, by seeing the happy faces of the young people. It’s amazing to think I’ve gone full circle in Aspire from youth club member to volunteer.

Being a volunteer has given me extra chances to practice the skills I need in my current occupation where I work in childcare. Outside of work and volunteering I play football for Cambridge City’s par ability team. I also go to watch Cambridge United play most weeks with my friend I met in Aspire.

On a final note I’d love to ask people to get behind Romsey Mill’s Christmas appeal for Aspire. Without their support I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

I thank Romsey Mill from the bottom of my heart for everything they have done for me over the years.



Your support for our Christmas Appeal this year, would be a life changing gift, and help to maintain our presence with autistic young people and their families, as they build relationships, and feel that they are no longer alone!

You can go to our Just Giving Campaign page make a donation online.

If you want to donate via BACS transfer, the details are: Bank: CAF; A/c name: Romsey Mill Trust Ltd; Sort code: 40-52-40; A/c no.: 00030789. 

Or you could send your donation (made payable to Romsey Mill Trust) by post to: Romsey Mill Centre, Hemingford Road, FREEPOST CB1067, Cambridge CB1 3YD.

Thank you for your interest in our work, and for partnering with us.