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Tour de France? Not quite for Tom, but his passion for cycling has been life changing

Tom is a young man with Asperger syndrome. He is a keen cycler, and can often be seen cycling around his local area with Support Worker Michael.

Diagnosed in early 2012, he is incredibly intelligent, having achieved six A Levels and studied Computer Science at university.

But, during university he faced some challenges. He found the hustle and bustle of university life a bit too much.

Tom and Michael cycling

Tom drew into himself, spending 12 hours a day in his room. He didn’t exercise or socialise. He didn’t even speak to anyone but his immediate family.

Eventually he decided to leave university, and further education behind.

Tom’s family sought the help of a GP and other organisations to try and help him get back on track, finding talking therapies of little help.

Not long after, he was referred to Dimensions where he and his mother met with a few our staff members.

Even during this initial meeting his passion for cycling was clear. So, our Senior Support Worker Michael invited him out for a bike ride.

It may have been a slow start – with more sipping on drinks at the local garden centre than conversation – but over time Tom and Michael have developed a fantastic working relationship.

Now, they often cycle together, exploring new routes in the local area. Their favourite route goes via a local café where they stop for a snack, before cycling back along the canal tow path.

Both Tom and Michael have talked of doing a charity bike ride one day –it may be a long way off, but through a little patience and person-centred thinking, truly anything is possible.

Find out more about our Active Citizens campaign.