George works three days a week at his local supermarket, which gives him the money needed to pursue his real passion – cycling.

19 year old George has loved cycling since he was 14, and his drive and ambition has meant that he’s quickly working his way towards being professional. Every season he’s working his way through the cycling leagues, and he’s already half way to the top!

It’s long distance cycling that really inspires George, and every morning he’s up at 5am to train for almost four hours in the local area. He also makes good use of the space available to him in his supported living flat – he’s made the space his own, with his bike rigged up to a turbo trainer, and various weights scattered around and ready to use.

George doesn’t see his autism as something to overcome, but something that drives him on. He describes how:

'I think my autism is what gives me the focus and mental strength to cycle every day. I don’t get bored of it, and I don’t get distracted by other things.'

It’s his supermarket employment that allows him to really pursue his passion. Cycling is an expensive sport, and to reach the top, expensive gear is needed. George has been working hard, three days a week, to afford a new bike, which he finally bought in mid-November 2018. The new bike offers him everything he needs to pursue his career and reach his full potential.

‘Working means I’ve been able to buy the new bike and really push on with my cycling career, which means the world to me. My employer’s been really supportive of everything – I really appreciate it.’

His employers have been great at providing encouragement to George. When he first got the job, he thought he wouldn’t be able to do it as it clashed with his cycling commitments. But all it took was an explanation to his manager for them to make adjustments to his shifts. That support has continued ever since; they’re always very understanding when he has a competition coming up and needs to drop a few shifts.

This constant support has helped George to really reach his potential. By making these minor adjustments, George is able to make his dreams a practical reality. He can pursue his dreams with everything he needs. Employment has given him the power to control his future.

SeeAbility's new employment programme, Ready, Willing & Able, will help people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss to learn new skills, gain confidence and start work. Until December 4th, all your donations to SeeAbility will be doubled through The Big Give