Improving Skills + Employment Opportunities - Shardonnay's story

“I wish I’d found this programme earlier because only now am I on the road to meeting my dream.”


Through our new Improving Skills + Employment Fund we are supporting 7 projects which will provide tailored support to 1,275 people to enable them to increase skills, access viable employment and reach their full potential over the next 3 years. 

One example of a project selected is brought to life by Shardonnay's story: Shardonnay is 29 years old and was diagnosed with Autism and a Learning Disability at the late age of 18 years old.  She had been through her whole academic life not fitting in nor being given the right support to thrive. Shardonnay spent some time trying college and working in part time jobs but was isolated and lonely and struggled to make friends.

By attending the ‘Pathways to Employment’ programme, Shardonnay was able to access a range of support sessions centered around her needs and style of learning. Sessions included help with CV writing, searching for a job, interview skills and training on Food Safety, Health and Hygiene as well as developing interpersonal skills and role playing a variety of different jobs. This helped Shardonnay discover her passions, learn at her own pace and become more confident in herself and abilities.

Since joining this programme, Shardonnay’s confidence has blossomed. She has had support to expand her social circle and her keyworker supports her to better understand social interactions so she can progress friendships and relationships. She has also been supported to find meaningful paid employment in advocacy, her long-term career ambition, and linked volunteering opportunities.

If you are interested in supporting our Skills + Employment programme to help residents like Shardonnay, please contact us to find out more [email protected], or click here to support our work.