After being made redundant due to the pandemic, Stuart had experienced barriers accessing benefits. He felt that systems were confusing for him to understand and he needed support.

He came to The Work Buddy Project because he wanted to get back into paid employment and wanted support to help him understand applications and contracts, and filling in forms necessary to start work.

Stuart said:

“I have found Grace Eyre reception brilliant! It has been a fantastic experience…I felt really positive after doing the training with Evie [job coach]. I learnt the right body language to use in an interview, giving eye contact is important and not slouching. It [the project] gave me experience and has made me feel better about myself.”

“In the past I would rush for any job I saw and found it hard to accept rejection, I thought I was doing something wrong. I will now go into an interview with my head held up high and will feel positive about it.”

Since completing the project, Stuart has been offered a full-time administrative role. The project has helped to prepare Stuart for the new role, exploring work place expectations, participating in pre-employment assessments such as typing tests, looking at the work contract, setting up payroll, scanning documents for DBS applications, and helping to ask any follow up questions to the employer.

Stuart said:

“I feel really positive about the new role, I want to help financially with my family…I don’t want to have to rely on them too much…I just feel buzzing at the moment. I look forward to telling my family, I think they will be proud”.

Stuart has also become a Grace Eyre Ambassador helping to shape services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

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