A secure job, a fulfilling relationship and evenings out watching live bands play your favourite tunes. Sounds like the recipe for a happy life for most people and Stuart is no different.
After being unemployed for four years, Stuart was introduced to Georgina Bradley who works on Accelerate, an employment support service offered by Grapevine.
He was living with his wife – who also has some additional needs – in Stratford-upon-Avon. Life was good but not as good as it could be with the self-esteem that comes from earning a wage.
His cleaning experience meant he was being offered interviews but not the job he so desperately wanted to support his family.
Georgina reworked his CV and immediately recognised that Stuart needed her to attend interviews with him. At the very first one with Goldcrest Cleaning, they hit pay dirt.
Geogina explains: “Stuart’s autism presented some challenges but I was there to ensure we could overcome the challenges and work together to achieve his goal.
“Goldcrest Cleaning were impressed and offered him the job. They have been brilliant all the way through.”
Stuart has been working at Welcombe Hills School (a special education needs school) not far from home in Stratford for five months now. His manager at Goldcrest, Lisa, worked with Georgina on his training in the early days to give him the best start. He is now settled and supported by both Lisa and the school.
Georgina said: “Stuart is going from strength to strength. I’m so pleased to have helped him complete the final bit of his puzzle to create a good life.”
Stuart and his wife are avid UB40 fans – they even met at a concert – and are looking forward to going to see a tribute act soon and they are also celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary later this year.
Accelerate is a partnership of local organisations that specialise in supporting people in Coventry and Warwickshire who would like to work but find it hard to get a job and enjoy all the benefits that employment brings. It is a Building Better Opportunities project funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.
We are telling Stuart’s story to help mark 25 years of Grapevine and our work to strengthen people who are facing any kind of disadvantage.