Jacob hits top gear to help Inscape School
Jacob Milward is a student at Inscape House School, the Together Trust school that breaks down barriers to learning for children and young people with autism. When Jacob realised that there was a gap in accessibility in transport at the school he was determined to help solve the matter. So, here’s Jacob’s story, and it’s a good one.
“I really love driving. I’ve got my own car at home but at school I noticed that the cars we had weren’t accessible for all our staff to drive.
“Mandy Fagan is my support worker and she’s not licenced to drive a car with a manual gearbox, but at Inscape we didn’t have any automatic cars. This meant she couldn’t be part of any schools activities that require a staff member to drive, like going out with students on work experience.
“I thought that it would be a good idea for us to invest in an automatic car, so I spoke to staff at our school and they were really helpful and encouraging and we decided to approach Jill Sheldrake.”
Jill Sheldrake is the Director of Services at the Together Trust. Jill told us: “When I spoke to Jacob it was quickly apparent that he had indeed spotted a gap in accessibility.
“He was really clear in laying out the case for the Trust acquiring a car with an automatic gearbox, not only to help Mandy but also other members of staff, present or future. I was impressed by his drive and his clear thinking. He made a good case and I thought it was a great idea so I set the wheels in motion, so to speak!”
Jacob said: “A few weeks later I saw the new automatic car being dropped off and I was so excited to see it. Since getting it, and before lockdown of course, we we’re able to go to lots of new places and do new things.
“Before lockdown I was doing work experience at the Whitworth Art Gallery where I do data management. I’m also part of the reorganisation, which means cataloguing the books and putting them on the right shelves. It’s great that Mandy can be a part of that, though sadly it’s on hold for now because of lockdown.
“I’d like to do more work experience and so we’re planning on what I could do next. Having a car that Mandy can drive means I’ll also be doing extra things in school that I wouldn’t have been able to do before.”
Jill Sheldrake said: “It’s so good to see just what a difference getting the new car has made and to hear what a success Jacob has made of his work experience at the Whitworth, where the staff are very impressed with him. Jacob has also made a real contribution with work he’s done with our fundraising team here at the Together Trust Headquarters. Our fundraisers have told me he’s been a massive help to them and he’s practically become part of the team.
“Jacob is a talented and determined young man whose actions have made transport at his school more accessible for staff. He should be rightly proud of his achievement and we’re certainly very, very proud of him.”
We’ll let Jacob have the last word: “I’m proud that I’ve been able to help Inscape School and help bring about such a positive change. It’s a great place I really care about it. My advice to anyone else who thinks they can make a difference in life is to go for it and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”