How we helped Ian overcome anxiety and depression to build a brighter future

Ian has autism, social anxiety and depression.

Previously he had worked for 29 years at a local supermarket but unfortunately was made redundant. This resulted in Ian suffering a breakdown and as a result has been unemployed for the last 18 years.

Ian was referred to Papworth Trust’s First Steps to Success (FSTS) by the Job Centre. In his assessment with our advisor, Ian was anxious and tearful. Through the assessment and subsequent engagement as part of the FSTS project, it was evident that Ian was fearful of making a return to work and paid employment. His confidence levels were very low, and he rarely left home.

He also explained he was scared about losing his home and his benefits. Our advisor was able to talk to Ian about this. They also discussed his interests, which included a passion for gardening, and how he could move forwards.

Reassurance and moving forward


Our FSTS advisor booked an appointment for Ian to attend the Disability Advice Bureau who were able to help with his benefits, specifically his Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Housing Benefit.

This gave Ian the reassurance that he could move forward and continue to engage with FSTS, which saw a clear reduction in his levels of anxiety.

As part of the project, our advisor wanted to build Ian’s confidence levels. He was open to the idea of volunteering and our advisor was able to organise for him to interview for and successfully gain a volunteer place at a local Woodlands Charity.

In addition, our advisor identified funding that paid for Ian to successfully complete his Warehouse Level 2 and Forklift Licence training courses.

The advisor is now working with Ian searching for part time roles which would fit in with his life and health needs. In addition, he is also now on the NHS waiting list for CBT therapy.

Ian’s outcomes so far include:
  • Correct benefits for his needs - ESA, PIP and Housing Benefits
  • Volunteering at the local Woodlands Charity
  • Gained basic skills
  • Gained in confidence
  • Completed two accredited courses