Giving people a reason to get out of bed in the morning

Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
Guardian columnist Jo Worgan

Last Friday I met with Simon Rudd, Founder of the social enterprise, Outrageous Ambitious that is based in Lancaster. I chatted to him about the Outrageous Hub while sat in a comfy deck chair next to a garden shed, all inside the spacious and open plan building situated alongside Lancaster Canal.

The Outrageous Hub opened its doors in April but is still in its very early days. What Simon made very clear was that this social enterprise is very much based upon the individual and their needs and that he hopes to bring the whole community together.

People accessing and using the hub will include those individuals with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, individuals who have autism as well as those who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Their Mission statement is, ‘To create a space for innovation from which it is possible to develop an inclusive enterprise which forms an integral part of the community, creates employment and is financially sustainable’.

The aim of Outrageous Ambition is to create an uplifting space that will inspire those who use it and I have to say that while I sat in the hub on Friday morning I most certainly felt calm and creative. But you may well be asking why am I intrusted in the hub? Well the reason is that I am thinking of Tom and what will be on offer for him in the future as well as for those other young adults who are on the spectrum and who at present have no opportunities for employment. It is a startling statistic but according to the National Autistic Society only 15 per cent of adults with autism are in full-time paid employmen. This is a sad fact and my son could be one of those statistics.

Therefore I believe that as a community we should all get behind Outrageous Ambition and support them in any way that we can.

Simon believes that many people who will be accessing the hub have never had a reason to get out of bed in the morning as many can’t access work, through no fault of their own. Outrageous Ambition will change this as everyone who wants to work or volunteer will be given a role and a reason to get up in the morning.

We need to empower and give a voice to our young people and especially those with autism.

More information about Outrageous Ambition can be found on their website at http://outrageousambition.org.uk/