Our impact Stories Matthew's story Before going to study a degree course at university, Matthew spoke about his experience with Romsey Mill. Matthew said: "I went to Aspire from age 15 after I was recommended to come here by a counsellor. My first impression of it was that Ruth (Aspire Programme Co-ordinator) is very friendly and very supportive, which was something I was looking for, so that was a big hook. Once I actually joined the sessions, I made first friends with a few people in the group. Being part of Aspire has helped me become a much more confident and happy person, especially compared to how I was when I joined. I’ve learnt very important skills in making friends; I’ve had fun playing within available activities like card games, kinetic sand, and the Nintendo switch. The one to one support has been very very helpful. I’ve been so glad and I’m very grateful that I can just come to the team with any problems that may be bothering me and they’ll talk me through it and make me feel so much better about it. "I’ve definitely become a lot more confident and outgoing person since I have gone to Aspire. I found it a lot easier to make friends at school and to maintain conversations with friends when I’m there." I’m also a lot more responsible and extroverted after going, being able to handle tasks maturely and sensibly thanks to the leadership of the team members. I have also learnt important life skills that will be invaluable to me when I attend university namely how to cook basic meals, like lasagne on the most recent residential. Also, I’ve been volunteering for Romsey Mill in the office once a week since July this year as an admin volunteer. I did this not only as a way to pay it forward for all the good that's been done for me, but also teach myself how to behave in the workplace and develop my professional skills. This helped me a great deal as I now feel a lot more prepared for all the professional and serious opportunities that will be coming my way. "Without Romsey Mill, my life would have been a lot more lonely and harder to deal with, as I would still be having dark and negative thoughts like I was when I first attended, and I would be by myself a lot more, as I wouldn’t have been as knowledgeable in ways to make friends."