World Autism Awareness Day was set up with the aim of increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism, foster worldwide support and inspire a kinder, more inclusive world.
To mark World Autism Awareness Day this year, Papworth Trust is sharing the story of Chris, one of our participants on the Community Connections South project.
Chris was referred to the project by his Support Worker at the National Autistic Society in December 2018.
After completing his Level 3 Art & Design course in 2010, Chris left college feeling unsure of his future and how being on the autistic spectrum and having a speech impediment would impact his employment prospects.
Soon after leaving college, Chris began volunteering at the Fair Shares Café in Cambridge before taking on a traineeship at the Histon Holiday Inn but was not taken on full time. Despite continuing to enjoy volunteering at the café, Chris decided he was ready to take on paid employment. He said: “I felt that I had enough skills to be able to get a paid job but needed some help to find an employer that would accept me for who I am and what I can do”.
After his referral to Community Connections South, Chris met with his Employment Advisor, Andrew, who supported with job searches and putting together a CV and cover letters. Following this, Chris was invited to interview for a role at Trinity College in Cambridge.
Chris was delighted to be offered the role at Trinity College and said: “I feel very grateful that the project has given me a chance to do a paid job and be accepted as a person who is able to work and contribute to the team, and be a valued member of the team.
It’s all worked out fine. My advisor always made appointments that suited me, we established a good working relationship and I have found the project a lot more useful than anything else I have done in the past.”
Several weeks after commencing his employment at Trinity College, Andrew met with Chris’ line manager to review his progress and we are delighted to report that Chris is doing well and developing further in his role.
Community Connections South is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.