Skip to main content

Ambitious about Autism: Jasmine raises awareness about autism

Home | Alumni | Ambitious about Autism: Jasmine raises awareness about autism

“Where to begin? I arrived back in the UK after three months living in rural Nepal. Over that time, I learnt people skills such as compassion and communication (despite the language barrier), but above all else I learned determination. It was that determination which led me to immerse myself further into volunteering. Prior to ICS I had already worked with Ambitious about Autism (Ambitious) several times from doing talks to writing blogs, but I thought it was time to put myself forward for more and to use skills that I had learnt from ICS in further volunteering.

“I started by helping collaborate on a video about the charity’s work which was used to apply for funding from Comic Relief. This funding would not only aid the school and college Ambitious have created, but also all the charity implements further opportunities to benefit and empower those on the spectrum.

“After this, Ambitious expanded their work into creating podcasts and networking with well-known public figures to raise awareness of the work we do. This has now resulted in a whole series being made, and I have had the privilege of appearing in two so far; interviewing people such as author David Mitchell, who’s son is on the spectrum, as well as Anne Hegerty from ITV’s The Chase, who is on the spectrum herself. The podcast continues to go from strength to strength, and the fact that we now have media stars voicing their thoughts and feelings alongside us not only encourages more people to listen to our podcasts, but also gives yet another avenue where we can explain the many different experiences of autism.

“It’s also given us firm connections with recognisable names. I recently worked with David Mitchel again, taking part in a panel discussion titled ‘Understanding Autism’. It was an incredible evening not only exchanging our different experiences among panel members, which also included authors Jessie Hewitson and Laura James, but also with the audience.

“But that wasn’t all. The day before the panel I was told that I’d be on BBC Radio 4, doing a segment alongside David about growing up autistic and the benefits that can come along with it to coincide with Autism Awareness Week. David spoke about how autism has affected his family life, while I represented the voice of the autistic youth. It was a fantastic chance to voice my own thoughts and feelings about issues such as autism in the work place and our education systems – both of which have resulted many problems for lots of people in the past. Our segment also proved to be successful beyond the radio audience, with many debates occurring across social media.

“Reflecting on all that has happened since volunteering with Raleigh ICS, I never thought so much would be achieved in such a short space of time. It’s daunting to sometimes think: what if this is it? What if there is nothing more I or Ambitious could do?

“But then I realise that with autism being featured more prominently than ever in the media, more people will have now been prompted to get themselves, or someone close to them, a diagnosis. This already occurring trend has begun to result in a larger population fighting to get the help they deserve, and it’ll be up to youth patrons like myself to stand up and fight alongside them, giving voices to those that may not have them.”

Our alumni constantly inspire us. Have you got an active citizenship story that you would like to share? We would love to hear it! Get in touch with us at

Leave a Reply