Caption: Rhys Jenkins, 25, an Autism Ambassador of Wales, was the first one to sign up to fund-raise for the festival.
“I hope to see loads of people come to the Festival. I hope they are from a variety of backgrounds, including students and professionals. I hope people can see what Autism can mean for them and understand what Autism is.” Rhys says.
At 16-years-old, Rhys was diagnosed as Autistic. Up until now, he has been helping Autistic individuals for over a year.
“I feel like it’s my life’s calling,” Rhys says.
“I enjoy being an ambassador and my goal is to make this world a better place. I like giving talks and being watched,” Rhys smiles broadly.
Speaking of his experience of Autism, Rhys says: “It is everything for me. The Autism provides me an opportunity to learn about the world, and I can make the world more aware the Autism”.
When asked what he wants people to know about Autism, Rhys says “Puzzle. The world is full of puzzles, but there is great achievement to be gained in solving that puzzle,” he says.
Rhys has begun to raise money through Local Giving for one of the groups that the Festival identified, the Chinese Autism Support Group.
Rhys plans to give three different speeches in Swansea, Cardiff, and potentially Neath, to raise fund for the Festival. His mother may also join him to give a talk in April about Personal Independence Payment.
How to support Rhys: https://localgiving.org/fundraising/runningforautismawareness/
Interview conducted by Emma Liu