Many young people who were part of Aspire, Romsey Mill’s work with autistic children and young people, now volunteer to help at Aspire’s weekly clubs.

Ruth Watt, Aspire Coordinator, explains why their contribution is valued so highly:

“There’s nothing we love more than when our young people choose to give back to Aspire by volunteering in our clubs. This works so well because they have been with Aspire themselves and can offer invaluable experience and understanding of the younger members.

They have been through a lot of the same difficulties that other young people are going through at school and can offer advice and reassurance when things are tough. It’s lovely for our younger groups to see older autistic people thriving as volunteers.

We also love that we can follow the journeys of these young people after they have left our groups. We are very grateful for their time and support."

Several young people who have attended Aspire are now volunteering. Ruth says:

“Jacob has been part of the Aspire family both as a young person and as a volunteer for as long as we can remember. We would not be without him. His hard work, supportive nature and reliability set the tone of our older groups. We are so happy to hear that he has been inspired to pursue youth work in the future and is doing so with his local church.

“Kieran volunteers weekly with Aspire. He has done so for almost three years, as well as holding down a permanent job as a chef. He is well loved and respected by the younger children that he helps to support and brings a lovely sense of fun to the group.

“Taylor has come more recently to volunteering, having moved through the groups since she was younger. We really appreciate her enthusiasm and ability to bring new ideas to help the group improve and run smoothly.

“Louie and Ethan have shown interest in volunteering with our younger groups. Both have a wonderful ability to put others at ease. Their patience and understanding of our young peoples’ needs will be a huge benefit to the groups they join.

“We can’t thank all of our volunteers enough for the time and energy and support they give to us to help make Aspire such a support for so many people.  They are worth their weight in gold.”

If you are interested in applying to volunteer with Aspire at Romsey Mill, you can download and complete a copy of our volunteer application form and send it to [email protected].

If you want to discuss any volunteering opportunities with us, call 01223 213162 and speak to Ruth Watt, the Aspire co-ordinator.