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Rugby stars pitch in to support students

Rugby stars pitch in to support students

Mitsubishi Motors UK, Gloucester Rugby Club and the Worcester Warriors, through their amazing support, have made a real difference to the lives of students at National Star.

One such student is Jason Felce, who features on our cover with his mum, dad and assistance dog Zeke. When he started at National Star Jason had one very clear objective – to make himself heard.

He communicates through an electronic device he controls with eye movement. Through that eye–gaze device Jason can also use his computer and text on his mobile.

Jason’s passion is rugby – especially the Worcester Warriors. He and his family are season ticket holders and Jason attends every home match with his parents and Zeke.

His dream was to have the rugby players and the Worcester fans hear his voice.

To enable Jason to be able to take part in those important post–match conversations, one of National Star’s speech and language therapists worked with him to develop key phrases and questions he could use, as well as shortcuts so that Jason could take less time to answer.

Working with his multimedia tutor at National Star, Jason interviewed his two favourite Worcester players – Chris Pennell and Bryce Heem. A film was made of the interview and shown at half–time during a Worcester Warriors match.

And all of it was to be a surprise for his parents, Lorna and Peter, who were moved to tears.

‘When Jason was born we were told by a doctor we’d be lucky if he did anything. I’d like to show the video to that doctor,’ said Mrs Felce.

‘I wanted to say a big thank you to my family for always bringing me to the games,’ said Jason. ‘I wanted to make them proud and show them how confident I am using my communication device.’

‘He kept the whole thing secret and we were just blown away by what he had achieved,’ said Mrs Felce.

Since starting at National Star in September, his parents have seen huge changes in Jason.

‘He used to be very passive but now he has started to take control over his own daily care and life. He was a teenager before and now he is a young man.’

The support of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi Motors UK’s long–standing support for National Star enabled students to attend Gloucester Rugby’s televised match against Ospreys. For the Anglo–Welsh Cup match, the Gloucester players wore National Star’s logo on their specially–made shirts instead of Mitsubishi’s name, who are the main sponsors of Gloucester Rugby.

National Star also took over Mitsubishi Motors’ presence in the match day programme, in the LED pitch side adverts and on the ground’s big screen. Gloucester Rugby provided National Star with a number of shirts for charity auctions.

Mitsubishi Motors has been supporting National Star for over seven years. They have supplied vehicles for the charity’s use, donate the use of their Hospitality Suite for the annual Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and have taken part in a number of other fundraising activities.

During this time they have helped to raise more than £100,000 to support National Star’s work with young people with complex disabilities like Jason.

Find out more

Find out more about National Star’s personalised learning programmes. You can also contact the Admissions team at admissions@nationalstar.org or on 01242 534928.

Find out how your organisation can support National Star. You can also contact the Fundraising team by emailing fundraising@nationalstar.org or calling 01242 524478.

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