Our work Autistic young people Aspire Autistic children and young people are brave, brilliant and creative, but they can often face significant social and sensory challenges, leading to anxiety and isolation. Aspire delivers youth clubs and support, in and around Cambridge, for autistic children and young people. Our clubs reduce social isolation and improve the lives and mental well-being of those who attend. We currently support around 140 children and young people and this number is increasing all the time as new families contact us. Young people who have benefited from our support told us: “I have found my people” “I have learned a wide variety of social skills” “It's really lovely to be able to meet and socialise with people who have similar challenges and can relate to my experiences. I feel much less alone.” When asked recently: 78% of autistic children and young people feel the youth club helps them feel less lonely 85% feel the youth club makes them feel more cheerful or happy 74% feel the youth club gives them a place to belong Parents told us: “Attending Romsey Mill’s Aspire group has literally turned my child’s life around. Having somewhere to go where he can be himself and is understood has made him a more happy, confident and resilient person… his future is suddenly looking a lot brighter.” “From the moment he started attending he was happier and seemed to carry less of a burden, he seemed lighter somehow, like he’d finally found a place where he belongs and seems a little less lonely in the world.” To access our support a child needs to: Have an autism diagnosis Be in mainstream school, in year 5 or above (up to age 18) Live in Cambridge city or South Cambridgeshire. If you would like more information or are looking to refer an autistic child or young person to our services, please contact Ruth Watt, our Aspire Coordinator on [email protected] or call the Romsey Mill office on 01223 213162. Please be advised that we are a small team working to support autistic young people, and we receive a high number of enquiries and referrals for Aspire. This means that we have waiting lists for many of our groups.