Oaklands student Jake Chodosh has been using his artistic skills to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Jake, 21, who attends Oaklands’ Springfield provision in St Albans, began painting at school, which quickly turned into a much loved hobby and saw him painting celebrities from The Beatles and Elton John, to Nelson Mandela and Amy Winehouse.
Jake, who is on the Autistic spectrum, and his family were spurred on by positive comments from friends, which led to Jake’s sisters Katie and Jessica to look for a way of sharing Jake’s work with the world.
Katie said: “We had stacks of Jake’s paintings in our house and people would tell us how good they were. Jake is a very visual person and we wanted a way to showcase his work.”
Jake’s mum Ruth said: “It was really nice to see them bond over a shared interest. Katie and Jessica have always been very supportive of Jake and they wanted to do something to make him the star.”
It wasn’t long before interest grew in Jake’s work and he began selling prints and canvasses of his creations.
“When people buy his paintings, we ask them to send us a photo of them with the painting as that’s a tangible way for Jake to be able to see someone enjoying his work,” said Katie.
So far Jake has raised over £2,000 from the sales of his paintings, which he has chosen to donate to two charities, Ambitious about Autism and Norwood, a charity that helped him move out of the family home in Barnet to live independently in supported accommodation in Edgware, something Ruth never thought would happen.
“Oaklands has been absolutely brilliant. I was very worried at first because Jake had been at his last school since he was five but he came home buzzing after his first day at Oaklands. I always wanted him to go somewhere where his tutors would push him further to help him become more confident, which has certainly been the case,” said Ruth.
If you want to see more of Jake’s work, visit his website: www.artismbyjake.com
Oaklands' Springfield provision provides courses for young adults from aged 19-22 who have either a profound and complex or severe learning difficulty or disability and who may require additional medical support in order to access the curriculum. For more information, please click here.