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Ewan’s campaign for autism continues after college

Ewan Richards, a former Coleg Sir Gâr student ambassador and computing student has always campaigned to raise awareness of autism whilst at college and now his passion for campaigning continues with Autism Wales.

His campaign work began with taking part in a video about what it’s like learning with autism in a college environment.

This looked at how daunting the transition can be for someone with autism and how colleges support and prepare people with additional learning needs.

The film was launched at Bridgend College where Ewan presented a talk about the support he received in education and from Autism Wales.

Ewan is now raising awareness of autism in the workplace as part of Autism Wales’ Employment Symposium Stakeholder Group. He said: “I am involved in the planning of the group to allow employers to provide equal opportunities to all people and discussing the benefits of employing autistic people, raising awareness is something I feel passionately about and being able to share my experiences is something I love doing.”

He was also featured in Autism Wales 2019/20 annual report talking about his experience of working with the national autism team.

Explaining how Coleg Sir Gâr helped him and how autism can affect people, Ewan added: “There are times where autism does affect me as I still don't like loud noises and big crowds.

“I also find some things a bit overpowering sometimes and get stressed quite easily but I think people should be autism aware and that people with autism are no different to anyone else.

“The college helped me immensely as they helped improve my confidence by including me in events and making me an equal part of the college environment.

“The support team also helped me with stress, finding relaxation methods when needed.

“Autism Wales have also helped as they helped me speak up about the disability and about my experiences as an autistic student.”

Sarah Hopkins, director for learner progression at Coleg Sir Gâr said: “Ewan held the position of student ambassador for two consecutive years whilst studying at college.

“He thoroughly enjoyed the level of responsibility, and used the role as a platform to inform others about various progression pathways, and was also an advocate of learning and learner support.

“He successfully raised awareness of autism with staff and learners, so it is no surprise to hear of his continued campaigning in the workplace.”

Ewan is currently studying a BSc in computing at UWTSD, Swansea.