Kayde explains how Community Connections Essex has helped her gain employment.

"I had been unemployed for 18 months when the Job Centre recommended that I visit Signpost in Basildon. A member of the team at Signpost then recommended that I take part in the project.

"I have autism and occasional depression. Also, sometimes I struggle with making sentences and processing information.

This project offered me the type of one-to-one support that I needed to progress and move forward into employment.

I received help and advice in carrying out relevant job searches and completing online application forms. Self-esteem and interview skills were covered in the training as well as planning and organising travel arrangements to and from interviews.

This project has made me feel good about myself – it has increased my confidence and self-esteem.

It has enabled me to gain work at a large busy supermarket, becoming a valued member of the team, dealing with customer service, cash handling and generally helping out around the store.

The encouragement and helpful attitude of team members helped me gain enough confidence and move forward into work.