A CIRENCESTER businesswoman is helping to ensure other young people with autism can reach their potential after taking over Pick a Pot & Paint on Blackjack Street.

Georgia Buffoni never thought she would work full time, let alone run her own business, but now the 25-year-old is in charge and raising money for National Star College.

Customers can buy a ceramic star to paint for £3 which Georgia will then turn into brooches.

For every sale Georgia will donate £2 to National Star College, which is based near Cheltenham and supports young people with learning and physical disabilities.

National Star’s work is of special interest to Georgia as she suffered years of ill health and depression before being diagnosed with autism.

She said “Due to my health I was taken out of school at 15. I only have one GCSE and no training.”

Since her diagnosis, she says her life had turned around.

“I am finally finding out what is right with me. It made such a difference to know that it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t get a job and that there was a reason for how I was," she said. "Until then I felt like an alien.”

To find out more about National Star, log on www.natstar.ac.uk