I'm 21 and I'm in my second year at Mencap National College at Dilston. It's good to be at Dilston, because I am learning to be more independent. College is better than school because I have more freedom.
For my 21st birthday, I was at home from college in the summer holidays. I celebrated at home and had a nice meal with my family.
I'm studying laundry, vehicle maintenance and PE at Dilston. I also study animal care, video and independent living skills. I like animal care the most, because the workbooks are good. I like the rabbits. I am working on catching and restraining with the rabbits at the moment, which can be hard work when they don't want to be caught! We've had three new arrivals of baby rabbits in the last few weeks.
Altogether, I have ten lessons a week. We get a morning break and have lunch at college with staff and students. The food is awesome! I also go on work experience to a local garage to valet (clean) the cars that are for sale.
In my spare time, I like to play guitar and listen to music. My favourite bands are Snow Patrol and Coldplay. I am a member of the Take-Away Band. We've performed in Newcastle and played at a concert at college. I also like playing football and spending time with friends, doing things like ten pin bowling. The team I support is Chelsea, although my mum supports Manchester United.
I'm originally from Scarborough, but I live near the college now in Hexham, with my friends Aarron, Stephen and Liam. I am learning new skills around the house like cooking and clearing up. I am also working on my mobility – getting the bus to college and sometimes going on the train.
When I leave Dilston next year I want my own flat and a paid job. I'd like to do car valeting and working with cars.
My biggest achievement so far was helping at a Fairtrade Big Brew event. Dilston College is trying to become a Fairtrade college and we put on a big event with The Co-operative and Traidcraft at Dilston to promote Fairtrade things. I also spoke at an event at Hexham Abbey about Fairtrade in the town.
Lots of people came to the event and had Fairtrade tea, coffee and cakes made by students in the college bakery. The event was a big success and everyone enjoyed it. There were more than 150 people there from college and the community. All the cakes got eaten! And Lisa Stevens from Traidcraft said it was best Big Brew she had ever been to!
I put up posters to advertise the event in college and local schools, and in Hexham. The posters also tell people about Fairtrade and how it can help. I made a poster that says how Fairtrade can help the farmers have more money for their fruit and help their community.
It's important to use Fairtrade things to help people living in other countries. There are lots of Fairtrade things to buy, like tea, bananas, honey, sugar and cotton. Hopefully we will find out soon if Dilston has Fairtrade status!
Find out more about Mencap National College at Dilston, Lufton and Pengwern