When we started researching local charities, we hadn’t come across the Aspens Roebuck Enterprises Centre before, but the aim of our Community Pledge was to support organisations that specifically help within our community, and we felt that this organisation does exactly that.

Aspens is a charity that provides care and support to people on the autism spectrum and with learning disabilities, and their families, with the aim of empowering them to learn and grow through a range of services across the South-East.

Oakfield specifically support the Roebuck Enterprises Centre which is part of Aspens which is based in Hastings Old Town offering a variety of creative workshops for young adults on the autism spectrum.

The purpose of the workshops is to focus on giving people the skills they need to lead their lives as independently as possible, including social and transferable skills, community skills, self-help, leisure and work skills.

There are a wide range of activities on offer including social and drama groups, craft activities, baking and jewellery making as well as graphics and animation groups, to name just a few. There really is something for everyone.

It doesn’t stop there as the beautiful, unique pieces created in the workshops are then sold either via the centre itself or from external shops. The cakes made at the Roebuck Centre are sold to a wide range of coffee shops and tea rooms in and around the local area.

They also hold close links with local colleges and community projects, so that people who join the workshops at Roebucks can share their skills with their local community.

When Adam Toubi our Sales Manager in Hastings visited the centre, he instantly had a huge amount of respect for Paula and her team, and the wonderful service they provide.

Adam said ‘It was great to see what goes on at the centre, you can really see how the workshops help these young adults. The aspect for me that stood out was how rewarding it must be for them seeing the items they have made being sold to the public. Some individuals have taken it a step further, creating their own businesses selling their products and without the centre they may never have felt this was possible.

I personally didn’t even know that this centre existed and I am excited to support them and to help raise awareness for the amazing service they offer. I know there will be other people who would love to support this cause and also people who may have family members who would benefit from utilising the workshops”.

Katherine, who attends the workshops at Roebucks Enterprises, said: “Going here has made a big difference in my life as it’s become my routine, I enjoy coming to do the activities, but seeing my friends is the best part. Every day is different and exciting, I do drama and life skills which are really good. I also love being in the kitchen and making lots of jams and chutneys, which we sell to people. Then at the end of the week is crafts, that’s my favourite activity because I love being creative. All the activities we do are great, I’m happy here because Roebuck has helped me learn new skills and also make new friends.”

If you would like to learn more about this wonderful charity, check out their website: https://www.aspens.org.uk/roebuck-day-centre