Our successes speak for themselves
"Bing Bang Boom"
Kamran had struggled to apply for jobs, and his lack of motivation had left him feeling despondent.
Works+ helped him get confident and motivated and he helped himself land his first job.
Before engaging with Works+ on a 1-1 basis, Olivia had been diagnosed with anxiety and Tourette’s syndrome. Tourette’s can cause her to make involuntary sounds and movements, known as tics, which for her were debilitating and had been a barrier to her going for interviews or securing a job.
During the Covid pandemic, Olivia decided she would like to experiment with make-up, so she taught herself the basics of special-effects make-up. She started a Tik Tok special effects make up page which she regularly posts onto and so far has 23,000 followers.
Olivia was referred to Works+ and was interested in the support available. Since working with staff on a 1-1 basis, Olivia has engaged well, attended all her appointments with an open mind and started to feel more motivated and confident. She has focused on improving her CV, cover letter, interview techniques, confidence building and looking for work.
Olivia benefited hugely from the Works+ support by securing a job and is now seeking to continue building her confidence and self-esteem. She is hoping to do an apprenticeship or go to university in future so Works+ are seeking to continue supporting her application. She has built up a make-up portfolio and staff are sourcing funding so that Olivia can have a taster special-effects 5 day course based in Edinburgh which will help prepare her career goal which is to work professionally in theatre or television.
"Ah'm no' gaun tae college!"
Leah was unsure of her options and had almost given up on her future. All she knew for sure is that college wasn't for her.
With the support of Works+ staff, she gradually rebuilt her confidence and reconsidered the unthinkable...
Fast forward 12 months, and Leah graduated from the Rural Skills course, and was recognised by Newbattle Abbey College as the Hardest Working Student of the year in the entire college.
The Power of Music
I started working with Works+ to accomplish basic things I needed, starting with securing a personal income. They helped me with successful applications to receive the help I was entitled to and supported me during meetings which was such a help because I hate speaking to people - I am always worried I will get something wrong.
The staff were very supportive during this process and having that support there made me much more relaxed and I slowly started to realise that I could start to trust the help I was being given. Having the confidence to let people see me struggling was a big step.
After a short time with Works+ I was encouraged to develop my interest in music. Music has been a big escape for me and to be able to share it with someone who wanted to hear it was a huge confidence boost. During the first few sessions I was still nervous, and there were many times where I just wanted to give up, but I stuck with it and learned how to make a professional recording which was a dream of mine. I truly began to feel myself achieving and I was having so much fun in the process. I’m really happy with the video we made for How Am I Supposed To Know? too – I still can’t believe we did that!
This boost in confidence led to me volunteering at a local youth club: singing and playing music with other young people who also have problems with confidence and anxiety. I have really low confidence when working in groups but I have come out of my shell and instead of being nervous and not wanting to go I now look forward to these sessions.
Attending Works+ has made me feel like I have a purpose and that there IS a point in trying again. I have been able to get through difficulties and struggles but I have learned to start trusting people and be able to confidently share my passion for music with other people is a great feeling.
After 6 months of support from Works+ I took the massive step of applying for an Open University course. I am now about halfway through the course and I’m really enjoying it – there’s no way I could even have considered something like this before.
I even accepted their invitation to join the Works+ Youth Ambassadors team as a volunteer, helping to shape the Works+ project from a teenager’s perspective. Instead of dreading going out of the house, I now look forward to going to Works+. I can share my struggles and successes and, instead of being scared, I smile when I am there.
I know I don't always have to face things on my own and that there are people who want to help me and support me.
That’s a good feeling.
Before Works+ I really struggled with my confidence, self esteem and general mental health. Works+ was the first place in a long time where I felt I could just be myself and where the thought of getting back into work began to feel a lot less overwhelming and achievable. I had spent a long time trying to find and maintain employment or training opportunities due to mental health issues and life circumstances, which felt very demoralising.
The guys at Works+ made me feel like I could turn things around more positively. I think that's because they took a more relaxed approach with me. By relaxed I mean that they didn't push me in a way that made me feel even more stressed or under pressure.
They really took the time to find out what my likes and dislikes are and finding out what had been my barriers to finding and maintaining employment in the past so I felt they were actually treating me as an individual, not just someone who is unemployed.
I could tell they genuinely wanted me to succeed and that made me more determined to challenge and push myself and take part in all the activities and projects they organised for the group.
There were challenges along the way but because they were non-judgemental and approachable throughout the ten weeks I felt able to work on a lot of my issues and difficulties in a safe environment.
They supported me and guided me in my application to 'Breaking Into News' for ITV and they gave me the confidence to follow something I'm really passionate about. I was the Scottish finalist and went to a big award ceremony in London with all the other regional winners and important TV people in attendance! I also presented a report on the impact of BPD on Border TV and was interviewed live in the studio.
The fact that I've been successful is huge for me: it's really made me realise that I do have potential and I can succeed. And that's thanks to Works+ believing in me at a time when I didn't really believe in myself.
I still doubt myself and my abilities at times but doing the Works+ programme has definitely helped reduce those times dramatically and I am, for the first time in a very long time, feeling positive and excited about my future.