Brendan’s Story

At the time of joining the project, Brendan wanted to work towards an NVQ in electrical engineering, but as he had not worked before, his mum felt the GREAT Project would be a good place for him to start.

Brendan, 21, currently lives at home with his parents and his sister and was referred to the GREAT Project by his mum. At the time of joining the project, Brendan wanted to work towards an NVQ in electrical engineering, but as he had not worked before, his mum felt the GREAT Project would be a good place for him to start.

Soon after being referred to the GREAT Project, Brendan met with his Employment Support Officer, Leah. He explained to her that he has Asperger’s and would like help with his confidence and anxiety. Whilst on the project, Brendan took part in all of the activities that were available to him as a participant.

Brendan took part in a three-day confidence building course that encourages participants to work together to overcome challenges and obstacles. The aim of the course is create interaction between the participants, helping them forge bonds and friendships. Challenges are designed in a way which allows the participants individual skillsets to flourish, allowing them to overcome the problem at hand.

Brendan attended sessions on a variety of employability skills, including interview skills, managing returning to work and confidence building. These sessions are delivered by in-house Employment Coordinators and are extremely beneficial in participant’s development. Brendan also received further one-to-one support around interview skills, allowing him to feel more confident when it came to interviews. Other employability sessions that helped Brendan were Work Club, where he was able to work on his CV and cover letter.

Given Brendan’s keen interest in electrical engineering, Leah felt Brendan would benefit from attending Enstruct. Enstruct is one of the project’s delivery partners and offers a 10-week home improvements course, where participants are given a taster in a variety of DIY skills, including electrics, tiling, bricklaying and plumbing. Participants can also work towards obtaining their CSCS card.

Brendan also worked with delivery partner, Business in the Community, and attended two of the behind the scenes tours that were available to him. He visited a local food manufacturer as well as a nationwide logistics company. Behind the scenes tours are beneficial for participants development as it provides them with an inside look into how differing industries work and the opportunities available.

One of the newer offerings the GREAT Project can provide are sessions with the in-house Vocational Rehabilitation Case Officer, Eileen. Brendan went to one of Eileen’s workshops on managing low mood and worry and learnt different ways in which he can help manage his mood.

Brendan utilised everything the project offers and has seen a tremendous improvement in his quality of life. He is now looking forward to putting everything he has learnt into practice by securing a job.

Speaking of his time on the project, Brendan said:

“The project has helped me build and gain confidence, has helped me with my anxiety and has helped me develop useful skills in searching and applying for work.”

Leah said:

“Brendan was an absolute pleasure to support. I’m so glad he took the time to attend everything the project can offer because it has really benefitted him; the change I’ve seen is incredible. I hope that he finds a role soon because he deserves it.”