A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to talk to Robin from the organisation Aspiregers. This was something which we’d seen on social media, and were interested to find out more
Jamie: What was the idea behind Aspiregers?
Robin: Like a lot of great ideas, this one came about purely by accident. I had just had a falling out with my partner and, instead of yelling at her and making matters worse, I just went upstairs and I drew the scenario onto a piece of paper; I doodled it. I liked the doodles and decided to Photoshop them and I thought they would make a great book. I designed it so that people with ADHD and ADD could read it from start to finish without losing interest.
Unfortunately, the book was turned down for publishing. Because of the amount of colour content, it was a bit of a high risk. So that door slammed shut for me, but I didn’t worry too much as I have a background in doing stand-up comedy and public speaking, and that’s a good tool to use. So I thought I’d turn this book into a presentation. That’s when the ball started rolling.
I go to a monthly group fairly regularly, for people on the spectrum, called Cotswold Aspies. A guy there called Steven, who used to run the group, is also a business advisor. I told him about my vision and idea, and we started having meetings. One day, the name “Aspiregers” popped into my head, and the rest is history.
Jamie: In terms of day to day, what do you do in your role in the organisation?
Robin: I’m more or less in charge of everything. I started as a sole trader, I do all the emails, the corresponding; the artwork; I write the weekly shows, which will now be fortnightly; I do all the video editing; marketing; write and create all the presentations. It goes on and on and on, I talk to so many people. For example, today I had a business breakfast. I do a lot of networking as well. Things are starting to take shape, which is really good.
Jamie: In terms of things taking shape, where do you want to take the whole thing? What is your vision?
Robin: Well, according to the National Autistic Society, only 8% of the UK population understand what Autism is. The Aspiregers mission is to educate the 92% that don’t know. And to help find the Einstein or Elon Musk; Jane Austen; Mozart; the next revolutionary like Bill Gates or someone like that, to help change and revolutionise and better the world that we live in.
I want to help give people a better understanding of the spectrum because it’s still very stigmatised, still very taboo, and it shouldn’t be. You’ve got the greatest people, the greatest inventors, the greatest revolutionaries, who revolutionise and change the world, yet if they were in today’s world they would be stigmatised and treated unfairly. I feel it’s my duty as a person to help fight that stigma and bring out the best in everyone.
Find out more on their website: https://www.aspiregers.org/