Alex is one step closer to finding her dream job

Alex* overcomes her health barriers is now looking forward to starting a new career as a teaching assistant with the help and support from the Links to Work M3 team. 

Why did Alex join Links to Work M3?

Alex joined the ESF Links to Work M3 programme in January 2020. During her welcome meeting Alex explained that she suffered with Dyspraxia, ASD and hearing loss. At the time Alex’s confidence was extremely low due to the lack of support in her previous workplace.

Alex had gained some work experience in a Day Nursery but always felt criticised and misunderstood. She wanted to find a paid job to suit her needs but she was unclear where to start or how to overcome her barriers.

How Links to Work M3 helped?

Alex met with Personal Adviser, Tracy and from the first meeting it was decided that she had several barriers they needed to address - confidence, training, trust issues and being understood.

During lockdown Tracy gave Alex some coping mechanisms. She soon realised that Alex was quite creative so Tracy encouraged her to get involved in various activities which she enjoyed doing to help clear her mind of negative thoughts.

Alex was completing a Childcare course from home but was struggling to concentrate for long periods at a time, Tracy encouraged her to call when she became frustrated. To help Alex feel at ease and to give her reassurance, Tracy would do breathing exercises and have motivational conversations with her.

Alex had asked Tracy to liaise with her Language and Speech Therapist, Rachel, so that they could all work together to provide Alex with the right support. By talking with Rachel, Tracy found out that Alex works best with visual aids and wore coloured bands to express how she was feeling on a particular day and to show what support she needed.

Due to Alex’s complex conditions, Tracy signed her up for an online Teaching Assistant course, giving her access to video aids meant that she could do it from home in her own time.

Alex was constantly putting herself under extra pressure as she felt she was not working to the same speed as others. Tracy assured Alex that everyone is different, and people learn at different paces. Alex took this on board and felt ready to take the next step - having Tracy at the end of the phone kept her motivated and knowing that she was there throughout her journey gave her lots of encouragement.

What’s next?

As Alex confidence grows, she can start to plan for her future. She is keen to better her job prospects and is looking to her improve her numeracy and English skills. And when Alex is feeling more comfortable, Tracy will place her in a working environment to help her flourish in her dream job - working with young children.

Alex said “I have the best mentor, Tracy has really given me a confidence boost. She is always there for me when I need to talk and is very approachable. She also understands me and my needs especially after having an unpleasant experience in the workplace. I am really looking forward to working more closely with Tracy in the coming months and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. A big thank you to all the people I’ve met along the way.’’

*not real name