Aiden’s Story

Aiden receiving award

We’ve got another testimony for you, this time from the parents of a young person who first got involved with us via St James City Farm and has since went on to get an apprenticeship in the local council. A great success which shows just how much the little bit of confidence gained from volunteering can do for you.

Richard Leach and St James City Farm

Our son Aidan has Aspergers Syndrome and was home educated for 7 years. This led to him being quite insular. He worked at the City Farm for 2 ½ years during which time Richard really took him under his wing. Richard taught him how to care for the animals which inspired his choice of courses at Hartpury College. He also was given the chance to develop his people skills needed for college which allowed him to become an ambassador for the college. He did his college work experience at the farm and made many friends there that he is still in contact with.

During Aidan’s time at the farm, Richard was always a caring, supportive and nurturing boss who’s guidance helped to develop and get the best out of his charges. Nothing was ever too much trouble for Richard who was always very approachable,although he does tell rotten jokes. Aidan always enjoyed working with Richard.

We, as a family, feel that Richard and the farm have played an invaluable role in our son’s development and happiness and will always have a special place in our hearts. We all consider Richard to be a firm friend and the salt of the earth. The farm is a wonderful safe place for young people and holds many happy memories for all of us.

Jeff, Nicky and Aidan O’Donnell

Aiden painting a mural

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