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Flying an aeroplane was a lifelong dream for Brandon, who uses our services in Blackpool. In March 2023, Brandon was thrilled to start his flying lessons at Air Navigation Training in Blackpool Airport.

The team at Autism Initiatives worked alongside Brandon worked alongside Brandon during this time, and were delighted to witness his progress.

Since then, Brandon has started volunteering at Hanger 42 Spitfire Centre, where he helps build old spitfires and helps show them to the public in Blackpool and around the country.

Brandon was recently recognised by Social Work and Blackpool Council for his remarkable accomplishments and he received the ‘You Rock’ award for personal achievement at The Blackpool Winter Gardens in November 2023.

Stephen Fidler, Senior Support Worker at the house where Brandon lives also attended the awards ceremony to see Brandon receive his award.

‘You Rock’ sees over 100 children, young people and care leavers win awards every year. Nominations can be made by a social worker, foster carer, teacher or anyone that is working with the nominated person.

Those chosen for the award are people who have made fantastic progress in any area over the past year, or someone who has gone the extra mile (or flown it!).

The evening is great fun, and Brandon and the other nominees were able to invite along the people who are special to them to help celebrate their amazing achievements.

Area Manager Nick Goodchild commented: “It was so nice to hear Brandon talk so positive about the staff team who work with him and Stephen in particular who in Brandon’s words ‘Just encourages me to go for it’ if there is something he wants to achieve.  Brandon’s story is such inspiring one for so many people. Brandon continues to amaze me and I can’t wait for the day when he achieves his goal of getting his pilot’s licence.”

Brandon said “I really enjoy being with AI, it has given me the opportunity to do many things that I love, especially flying.”