"He wants to be able to buy him a house and make sure he has all the care he ever needs"
Twins Jason and Aaron Clark have always known they are different but the same. While Jason is a high-achieving, sporty and confident 11-year-old, his twin Aaron has Down's Syndrome, delayed speech and deafness. But despite such differences, the brothers from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, have an unbreakable bond that knits them together.
The boys' mum, Lynn Clark, said: "They have always been extremely close. They have a very unique and special bond. They aren’t just twin brothers, they are best of mates too. I’ve always told them they are very special and have different talents and skills that are unique to themselves. Jason is very protective over Aaron - who looks up to his twin in a big brotherly way." And now ever protective Jason has sold all his old toys and books to help his brother’s education.
Over the last year he has raised over £400 in a bid to raise funds for the special school Aaron attends. Lynn, a businesswoman, said: "He’s had table top sales, a party and placed collection boxes in shops to raise money. And now he is in the process of establishing his own registered charity to carry on supporting the school which means so much to Aaron." Entrepreneurial and caring Jason started fundraising as he wanted to give something back to Greenacre School, who have supported Aaron for the last five years.
Bursting with pride, Lynn said: "He has always had such a loving personality and been so protective over Aaron. He told me recently that when he is older he wants to run his own business so he can always look after Aaron. He wants to be able to buy him a house and make sure he has all the care he ever needs. I feel so proud of Jason - he really is a very caring child. When Aaron was younger, his speech was badly affected, so Jason along with ourselves learnt sign language so Aaron could communicate with us. Jason never moaned about it - quite the opposite. He didn’t want Aaron to feel different so enthusiastically learnt the signs. But they have also have their own way of communication - sometimes I can’t quite decipher what Aaron has said, but Jason always knows and will explain for me. I just put it down to the fact that they are twins and incredibly close."
So Jason’s latest mission to help Aaron doesn’t come as any surprise to Lynn and her husband, Jeff. As the boys mark the 10th anniversary of World Down's Syndrome Day, Lynn said: "I wasn’t shocked when he came up with his plan - it’s just his latest way of helping his brother. He initially created a business plan to raise the money. He took it to Aaron’s headmistress to gain her approval and set up a website to promote his charity, Suportthenoun. He held a table top sale at his own school, invited his mates around for a party and charged them for refreshments and then asked local shops to display collection boxes."
Jason, who is clearly very keen to support his brother’s school, said: "I decided it was a good idea because it does quite a lot for people born with disabilities and I wanted to do something for them. It feels really good to help and make a difference. I hope Aaron will be very proud of me."
The money raised will go towards a gardening project for the school. Headteacher Susan Hayter said: "The money from Jason will help to buy gardening tools and a lawnmower. The plan is for older children to have a chance to run a gardening service and then offer the service to people so they can learn new skills and how to earn money."
Lynn added: "We have been completely overwhelmed by Jason's determination and enthusiasm. Jason told us he had lots of toys and books that he no longer needed and wanted to put them to something useful." Despite being born a minute after Aaron, Jason has always taken on the big brother role. Lynn recalls: "When they were little Jason would always keep a very watchful eye on Aaron. If he fell over in the park, he was the first one to come to his aid and make sure he was okay. And there has been the odd occasion where Aaron has been the victim of nasty comments from other kids. A boy once hit Aaron - Jason immediately jumped to Aaron’s defence and told the lad to leave him alone. On their first day at school, Jason kept a very close eye on Aaron, knowing how hard it would be for him. He made sure he was never alone and that he had everything he needed. And ever since he has been like Aaron’s right-hand man. Despite being far more sporty and academic than his brother, he never lets Aaron feel any different. In fact he constantly encourages and teaches him. Jason is very patient. He has helped teach Aaron how to ride his bike, play football and show him how to use the iPad. He never allows him to be left out of anything. I used to worry about what would happen when Aaron got older, how he would cope with adult life, if he would be able to live independently. But I know now that he will always have Jason to help him and with his brother by his side, he will never be alone in life."
If anyone would like to help Jason on his fundraising mission they can donate through his website www.suportthenoun.webs.com