Connor’s story: Anything is possible
After years of anxiety, depression and being told that he wouldn’t be able to achieve anything, Connor has been supported to gain an apprenticeship.
The 28-year-old has autism and, throughout his younger life, suffered from bullying and judgement. He left school with no qualifications but, rather than allowing it to define him, he decided to go to college when he was 20. Soon afterwards he achieved his Maths and English GCSE’s, Business-related BTEC’s and was even awarded the Business Student of the Year.
Connor didn’t stop there – he then graduated from university, receiving a Business Studies degree and Higher National Diploma as well. However, despite his qualifications, a number of work placements and voluntary roles and his strong will to succeed, he was unable to find an opportunity that would help him towards becoming a fully chartered accountant.
After two years of being unemployed, multiple rejections and rapidly increasing self-doubt, he was unsure what else he could do. All he wanted was a chance to prove himself… And that was where Kelly and the Employment Support team stepped in.
Connor received a range of training, advice and wellbeing support tailored to his needs, something which gave him a more positive outlook on life and led to this employment opportunity.
He said: “The support that I received before had always been quite generic, but the help from Kelly was tailored to me. She offered specific advice, answered my questions and most importantly improved my confidence so that I had a better outlook.
“It’s helped me put the steps in place to thrive now and in the future. I questioned things before and put a lot of pressure on myself, but I feel a lot more in control now. I’ve realised how strong a person I am and that I can rise to any challenge that may come my way.
“This shows that having autism isn’t a barrier to achieving in life and that, if you want something enough and are willing to work towards it, then good things will come your way.”