Autistic man’s pandemic messages become global hit

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AN AUTISTIC man with learning difficulties has become a worldwide hit after posting inspirational messages online throughout the pandemic.

Jack Albie Hickinbotham started making videos at the start of lockdown in March 2020 and has continued posting regularly since.

The 25-year-old, from Hereford, Herefordshire, has shared hundreds of videos on his Lockdown life with Jack Albie Facebook page.

In the clips, Jack leaves inspirational messages for the public and gives a glimpse into his daily life.

During lockdown, Jack was unable to attend special needs college, so his mother Nicola Hickinbotham, 50, suggested that he should start making videos.

The avid Everton fan, who suffers from bad anxiety, benefited massively with his confidence after sharing his first video and getting a positive reaction.

Proud mum Nicola posted Jack’s first video onto Facebook on April 18 2020, writing: “Hello, this is my son Jack, he is autistic and has epilepsy, he has been doing some videos since lockdown.

“He just wants people to listen, stay safe everyone.”

The post received over 23,000 reactions and more than 3,000 comments.

Since then Jack has been sent messages of support from viewers from across the globe including Australia, New Zealand and the US.

One user wrote: “Hi Jack. We are in New Zealand. We hope you Stay Safe too.”

Whilst another commented: “Thank you Jack, you stay safe too. From Wallerawang, Australia.”

One member replied: “Thanks, Jack, you stay safe, also! From Montana, USA.”

Another said: “Sending well wishes all the way from Melbourne, Australia.”

Jack pictured with his younger sister Abbey at her graduation
Brother and sister Jack, 25, and Abbey, 24, Hickinbotham.                                                             (C) Nicola Hickinbotham

Since emerging from lockdown, Jack has now turned his focus to mental health awareness, with his most recent video telling people to look after their mind.

Speaking today, Jack’s mum Nicola said: “All his life he has been such a caring young man. He’s always happy and always smiling as you can see on the videos.

“He has a funny character, he can be quite jokey.

“He loves making people smile. His confidence gets so much better each time he makes a video.

It’s not just Facebook users that Jack has helped through the pandemic, he has helped his mum through it who suffers from bad anxiety.

Nicola continued: “I have suffered many years and Jack doing these videos has helped me too, as well as thousands of people all over the world.

“As a family he has helped us all throughout the pandemic.

“We never thought his videos would go viral.

“It’s been a fantastic journey for him so far and he absolutely loves doing them.”