Back to The Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2018

Aiden Coxhead

Category: Local communities

Aiden is a role model not just for his peers, but for the whole community.

A fundraising hero

When bikes were stolen from children with complex learning disabilities and physical disabilities, Aiden saw an opportunity.

Meet Aiden

Aiden’s life isn’t easy. He suffers from cystic fibrosis, anxiety and various challenges presented by his autism. Despite this, Aiden insists on finding time to put other people first.

One example of Aiden’s giving nature is his participation in Time to Shine, an initiative run by Cornwall Accessible Activities Program. Time to Shine helps young people develop their employment skills. After joining Time to Shine, Aiden has used his skills to support the people at CAAP events.

He also completed a Sports Leadership Award and volunteers at his old school, Pencalenick, to deliver physical education classes to children with complex learning disabilities and physical disabilities.

Rising to the challenge

Unfortunately, not everyone is as kind as Aiden. Earlier this year some bikes, specially adapted for the pupils of Pencalenick School, were stolen.

Sport and physical activity can be of huge benefit for all young people, but especially those with additional needs. Aiden saw firsthand how important the bikes were to the children and was heartbroken to hear of the theft.

So, Aiden decided to take matters into his own hands.

Aiden set up a GoFundMe page online – with the first donation being his own pocket money – to replace the bikes. He also made and sold dog treats to contribute to the fund. Aiden worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the fund, even sharing the story on local radio stations around Cornwall.

Ultimately, Aiden raised £2,100 to help Pencalenick School replace the bikes. Even though Aiden has since left the school and won’t be using the bikes himself, he showed true determination and selflessness by making sure new pupils wouldn’t miss out.

An example for others

Aiden is a role model not just for his peers, but for the whole community. He refuses to be defined by his conditions, takes pride in giving back to his local community and is always looking for ways to help others.


“I would love to know more about him. I think he’s very brave to work outside his comfort zone so much for the good of others, expecting nothing in return. I understand how hard it is to speak up when you find it so difficult to do so.” – Leaders’ List 2019 Judge

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