Our son was diagnosed with autism at 7 years of age, he’s always had lots of energy so it has always been important for us to find him something that he could utilise all this energy in a positive way, with something he loves doing. Since he has been attending Truro college he has developed a love for the outside, he has completed his Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and is currently completing his Gold Award with 3 other “special” students each student with their own individual and quite specific needs, all done with the unwavering support of Charlotte.

He has been attending The Outdoor Place since the summer of 2018. We wanted to find a provision that would get him outdoors as he loves being outside in the open air, he loves walking and will always be up for a long walk in any weather. Charlotte has supported him weekly on “adventure days” each week a new outdoor adventure, each trip incorporating a variety of travel training, socialising, volunteering, confidence building and social skills, all supported by Charlotte, who’s support and enthusiasm has encouraged him to find confidence in social situations. He looks forward to each Wednesday and helps plan the following weeks “awesome adventure”. He has made friends and grown in confidence in social situations and is gaining vital social skills.

Charlotte has become an extension of our family, the care, commitment and understanding shown is akin to a family member and with our son having special needs we know he’s in safe hands. Charlotte has been able to encourage him to embrace new challenges and has adapted situations so he can fully enjoy them, she motivates with her great zest for life and love of the outdoors and exploring. The Outdoor Place is truly a unique provision offering our son the chance to embrace and explore in a natural environment.

We count ourselves very lucky to have found Charlotte, with her dedication and unwavering support along with the unique setting of The Outdoor Place, we can’t thank her enough for all that she has done and continues to do, to support our son.

Our son has had the privilege of knowing Charlotte for 5 years and she has been a great influence on his life. He has autism and thanks to her encouragement, is learning to live in our world better.

Due to her patience and kindness 4 boys from Truro college will complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in April. This has culminated in 3 years hard work and countless hours of volunteering. Walking in both Dartmoor and Exmoor, carrying everything required, self navigating, walking for 4 days, sleeping in a tent for 3 nights and putting the tent up themselves.

Thanks to Charlotte, he volunteers 1 day a week at Hawkshead in Truro and hopefully this will lead to a job once he can cope, which he is getting really good at. He is starting to deal with customers as well as getting to know and learn about the stock.

Our son also volunteers 1 day a week with her and is helping to build a unique Bronze Age settlement. This entails working outside, cutting down trees, building fences and a house out of wood.

Without Charlotte we honestly do not know what the future would be like for our son. We have tried other people but it has just not worked. We shall be forever grateful for all that she has done for our son.