“Grace Eyre changed my life; I found them in a pandemic.

Since I joined Grace Eyre in March 2021, I have been more motivated by life and grown more confident in myself. My first introduction was through the Friendship Group. I was shy and nervous at first but soon made new friends, and at the time joined lots of Zoom sessions like yoga, art and the Friday night disco. When we could, days at the Grace Eyre beach hut and picnics were so nice, it was great to see people in person again. Interacting with people during a pandemic was so important and I don’t know what I would have done without it.

I became an Ambassador in April 2021 and, along with Cleo (Our Voices Manager), we talked about the future of Grace Eyre. I felt involved in decisions and got to talk to, and got to know, different teams within Grace Eyre.  I was then introduced to the Employment Project with Evie (Job Coach Team Leader), and I found out what I would like to look for in a job and how to develop the skills I needed. Before I joined Grace Eyre I was depressed, Grace Eyre changed my life for the better.

I thought I would never be able to find a job; I thought I was a failure because of being made redundant from a job due to COVID-19 that I had had for 20 years.

Evie from the Employment Project supported me on a training course at the Grace Eyre office where I l developed my IT  skills and extra tasks, like how to frank the mail. I also completed a first aid course, food hygiene and manual handling course. I really enjoyed meeting new friends and colleagues, and learning how the reception worked at Grace Eyre. Evie taught me how to close the building, it was really interesting seeing how this worked.

This led me to me to continue onto the Customer Service Training Programme with Emily at the Grace Eyre Art Studio in Brighton’s Open Market, where I learnt how to use the till, how to display the art, and how to talk to customers. I got to sell art to my Dad and my Sister, they were so proud of me and it felt really good. During the course, I actually got a paid job as a Photography Assistant which is so much fun. I am learning so much. I’ve also taken part in a few different films and found a flare for acting! I was also inspired to use some of my photography and make a canvas and a cup to sell at the Art Studio – I already sold one of my ceramic bikes to someone last month which as great!

I just really want to say thanks for everything that Grace Eyre has helped me to achieve, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I would like to say to anyone looking for a job or just a bit lost to keep going and reach out for the help if you need it.”

“Stuart is such a hard worker and a pleasure to work with.” – Evie Halligan, Job Coach Team Leader


If you’re inspired by Stuart’s story and want to find out more, please get in touch,

Call: 01273 201900

Email: enquiries@grace-eyre.org

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