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Autism awareness day: Dec Stone

Dec Stone is currently a student on the Bristol City Community Trust’s Sports Media course (a programme run in conjunction with Boomsatsuma) and is a member of the Community Trust’s youth council. He is also autistic.

Dec was selected to be part of the trust’s youth council - a body of eight young people who help to decide and shape the work that is conducted at the Community Trust – in the role of media manager as a result of his excellent social media skills, and has now been a member for nearly three years. Over this period of time the council have helped the trust to launch initiatives such as the Women’s and Girl’s football and fitness hub, and a Friday night social inclusion football session which delivers football to around 80 young people per session. Both of these projects have been highly successful with the social inclusion project drastically reducing criminal activity in the area that it operates.

The work of Dec and the rest of the youth council has been recognised on a national level and has won both EFL and FA awards. In addition to this, the work of the council played an integral part in the trust winning the accolade of Community Club of the Year in 2018, and retaining it in 2019.

When Dec first joined the youth council, he was quite an introverted individual who lacked self-confidence, however since then, he has grown into a confident and prominent member of the council. Dec’s confidence has grown to such an extent that he now works on multiple trust projects, as well as working as a coach on our holiday camps where he has led several sessions.

Dec told the trust that, “When I first started at the youth council, I was way out of my comfort zone. However, I did not let this dissuade me from perusing my goals, and I am so proud of all that we have achieved.”

He went on to add that, “People shouldn’t really see autism as a disability or think that just because someone is autistic it means that they cannot do things. If you really want something and work hard, then you can do anything.”

Dec is now looking to continue his studies at university and is a prime example that with self-belief and hard work, you can achieve anything.