On the 12th September 2017, Thomas joined the Glasgow Momentum Programme in Drumchapel. Thomas has Asperger syndrome and was referred to the programme after his support worker researched the different agencies that may be able to support Thomas on his journey through the employability pathway. As the Glasgow Momentum Programme supports people who are unemployed with a long-term illness or a disability to move towards economic and social inclusion we were able to support Thomas.
Thomas had his first meeting with his Employment Development Worker, Deborah O’Neil and his support worker, during this time Thomas made very little eye contact and was quiet happy for his support worker to do most of the talking on his behalf. During the initial meeting Thomas discussed the possibility of his support worker coming along to each meeting; included workshops. Our Employment Development Worker Deborah reassured Thomas and suggested that they should see how the first couple of appointments went then make a decision from there. At the end of the initial meeting it was agreed that Thomas would attend the next meeting on his own as this would give both Deborah and Thomas the opportunity to build a working relationship.
Over the next few meetings Thomas was able to attend without his support worker and was happy for Deborah to support him with the paperwork required for the programme and to continue meeting with Deborah on his own, from these first couple of meeting Thomas and Deborah began to build trust and slowly Deborah could see a change in Thomas; he was becoming more confident and approachable.
Thomas then began Stage 2 of the programme and has so far attended the personal development workshops twice per week for the last 4 weeks. He still has 4 more to go and has took part in a variety of different workshops including team building, confidence & self-esteem building, motivation and positive thinking.
Through these group sessions Thomas has already built great relationships with his peers, learned new skills and is exploring his plans for moving forward by goal setting.
Thomas has already completed a certificated online Digital inclusion course which involved his participation in online training to improve his IT skills covering subjects such as online basics, internet skills, finding a job online and online safety.
Thomas seems to be really enjoying the personal development programme and his positive thoughts each week in the group sessions show this. He has met new friends and gained computing skills that he will now be able to use moving forward. Thomas's participation in the group is excellent and his attendance and time keeping has been fantastic.
Thomas has adjusted great to this new routine in his life and I feel confident he will be able to implement these new skills into his day to day life. Thomas is now half way through Stage 2 of the personal development programme as well as completing his online training course in IT.
In just over 3 weeks Thomas gained his certificate of digital skills and feels more confident in his computing abilities, he is looking forward to completing Stage 2 and then moving on to the next part in his journey which will be to secure training, volunteering and employment.