This is an inspiring story of Paul’s journey from Service user to Full time employee at Better Assembly Services.
Paul was referred to Better Pathways by his support worker and Birmingham Mind. He suffers with anxiety and depression and also suffered with agoraphobia and only would leave the house to visit the hospital. He began a work experience placement. He started at the charities Garden Centre, Park Lane, where he completely a variety of skills and training courses, and has since moved to Better Assembly Services, a social enterprise within Better Pathways.
“It was difficult when I first started. I had a fear of crowds and people. Also, using public transport was challenging for me. But, as time progressed, my anxiety symptoms lessened. My panic attacks have completely stopped. But it took time.”
Paul received help and support when he started at Better Pathways. He received an advisor, financial support, and training both with regards to his work and his health. He also felt comfortable in the environment as he was working with understanding people. If he had bad days, he would be able to take his time and recover. He was able to do what anxiety sufferers must try to do, which is face everything and recover.
At Park Lane Garden Centre, he thrived, He enjoyed the work and being outdoors with nature. His health and well being improved with time and he gained a sense of purpose and achievement. When he moved to Better Assembly Services, he not only excelled in the role, but also began to interact with others more, connecting with people who could relate to what he was going through and regaining his confidence in social interaction. He also received help from the staff, such as management and advisors.
“The services here are fantastic, the garden centre was very relaxing and calming, and I began to change my focus. I paid less attention to the anxiety and depression and more to enjoyable activities. I got my diploma in Gardening and began a placement with Garden services. At Better Assembly Services, I began to actually enjoy working with other people and had fun also, whilst feeling better about myself and my life”.
When a job opportunity arose at Better Assembly Services for a Section lead, he was asked to apply for it. He received help from his advisor with regards to interview practice, building his CV and learning techniques and skills with regards to calming his anxiety. After a successful interview, he got the job and is now flourishing in his new role.
“Being referred to Better Pathways has changed my life. At first, I just wanted help with my mental health conditions, but instead, I now have a full time, which I love. I now interact with people on a daily basis and socially and my mental health conditions have significantly improved. I’m still recovering, but being in work has given me the chance to rebuild my life and regain my health and wellbeing”.