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Aurora* overcomes her anxiety to become a hero key worker during Covid-19

Why did Aurora join Fair Start Scotland?

Aurora was referred to the service by the local Jobcentre in Hadwick where she had relocated from Newcastleton. Aurora suffers with anxiety which has stopped her from being in situations with a large amount of people.

Aurora had attempted to attend college for the past two years but on her last intake, she was only managed three days due to her anxiety. This impacted on her self-confidence and felt she had failed - she didn’t know how manage her anxiety.

She moved to Hadwick to try and better herself in an environment which she felt would give her better prospects for her future. Aurora was self-isolating, trying to manage her anxiety levels and felt she was now unable to search for work as she wouldn’t be able to sustain employment due to her anxiety and low mood.

How did Fair Start Scotland help?

During Aurora’s Welcome Session it was clear that she had trust issues and she was withdrawn and didn’t really want to talk. Aurora and her job coach, Gillian Ormiston had one to one meetings to gain her trust and form a stable working relationship to make her to feel safe enough to open up about her issues and stresses.

Aurora engaged well with Gillian and together they created an action plan which supported her in taking small steps to improve her self-esteem and confidence. Aurora needed a lot of reassurance and planned interventions to enable her to control her anxiety and work towards goals in which she has set.

Gillian supported her to look at areas when she felt most anxious and helped her put things in place to support her in her recovery, which included calling her mum in times of panic. Aurora is a very reliable and hardworking individual she has worked extremely hard to trust and build up a working relationship. She trusted Gillian’s judgement and felt ready to start work.

Aurora’s lifelong passion is to work as a makeup artist, however she felt she was unable at this time to study at college or in a classroom environment. Gillian decided to build up her skills in other avenues to help her work towards her goal. Gillian looked at the Marks and Starts programme as an option within her interests to enable her to have a smooth transition into work. Building on routine, trust, planned interventions and an environment which was supportive and structured, Aurora started to excel.

Getting the job

Aurora agreed to go on the Marks and Start programme which involved working in the clothing department. She had in interest in fashion and design, so this helped her feel more confident. She also knew this would be a planned and supportive environment and she would have a buddy by her side, training her, looking after her and offering reassurance.

Aurora has now been on the Marks and Start programme for two months and she has managed extremely well. She travels 36 miles by bus round trip working four days a week during Covid-19 in a key worker role - supporting people in gaining essential items.

Although Aurora continues to struggle with anxiety and low mood at times, she really has excelled in this current climate. She feels her confidence is growing and continues to learn new skills. Aurora is happier than ever; she feels she has achieved something and managed to sustain and build on her skills and abilities.

Aurora’s mum contacted Gillian to express how amazed she was with the change in her daughter and she is very grateful that her daughter is starting to believe in herself.

Aurora has started to realise she can still do anything regardless of having anxiety and she can build tools to help her through her day.

*not real name


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