“I started volunteering with the National Autistic Society partially because I wanted experience, partially because I thought I could manage social groups given experience in uni, but mostly because I know what it's like to be young with autism, and feel isolated in a sea of people that seem to know exactly what to do in any given situation.
In the role I felt I could pass on some of my lived experience to the younger people in the groups, whether that was by sharing strategies that worked for me, or simply empathising with the day to day hurdles presented by living with autism in a world that doesn't really understand it yet. Currently I still volunteer, but I also have a paid role with the National Autistic Society as a Student Mentor, applying much of what I learned in volunteering to my new job. It's probably fair to say that I wouldn't have had the confidence to go for it had I not volunteered with the National Autistic Society first.
The voluntary role gave me the chance to realise that I do have the communication skills, empathy and judgement necessary for such work, and that I can connect with people, regardless of who they are and where they come from."
“I know what it's like to be young with autism, and feel isolated in a sea of people that seem to know exactly what to do in any given situation.”