Unable to effectively communicate and full of anxiety, Madelaine Wilkinson, couldn’t have envisaged that just eight weeks after attending Unlock Your Potential that she would have the confidence and belief in her own abilities to begin working.

But thanks to dedicated support and a bespoke programme tailored to her needs the 20-year-old from Stanley is now part of the team at Farplace animal sanctuary as a trainee.

Michael Knaggs, job coach, said:

When Madelaine started she presented as being very anxious and had difficulty communicating. She found it very difficult to process information or to respond effectively to requests or questions. 

Madelaine needed lots of support around communication and managing anxiety as well as developing her own confidence. 

But by the end of eight weeks of workshops she was able to build an effective CV, she had a better understanding of her own abilities and expectations and we saw a huge improvement in her confidence and communication skills.

With a diagnosis of autism spectrum condition (ASC) as well as bipolar the prospect of undertaking a work placement was a daunting one.

Madelaine was very nervous about starting this but with support and guidance she was reassured and quickly demonstrated her own independence and effective work skills.

Added Michael, who was able to confidently withdraw support as Madelaine’s workplace confidence grew. 

Madelaine is now officially participating in a traineeship with a plan to increase her hours.