Why Jazmin joined Fair Start Scotland?
Jazmin suffers with a genetic disorder called Kabuki syndrome which affects her muscle tone and energy levels. She has also been diagnosed with Global Development delay which has had a massive impact on her overall confidence in particular her communication as it impacts her ability to understand instruction. In the past Jazmin has always done voluntary work apart from one working on very small short-term contract mainly doing general housekeeping but struggled with the physical side of the job and had to leave as it was just simply too much for her.
How Fair Start Scotland helped?
When Jazmin first came to us, she didn’t have the confidence or belief that she could come alone. Her mum attended all her appointments and most of the communication came through Mum. Louise, her personal adviser tried to encourage Jazmin to talk more by finding mutual interests and made a point of talking about them. Due to her health condition Louise was always clear and concise when asking her to do anything and knew that if she gave her too much information this would overwhelm her, so went through things step by step to help her retain the information a lot easier.
As Jazmin started to trust Louise and establish a good working relationship, Louise introduced Jazmin to our Health and Wellbeing Adviser, Suzie who was able to coach Jazmin through a variety of practices designed to help ease and understand her anxiety. She also introduced Jazmin to the benefits of distractions by asking her mum to leave the room for 10 mins while they had a game of noughts and crosses. This helped distract Jazmin from her mum being no longer present in the room. Working together they agreed a graded approach by increasing the length of time gradually where her mum wasn’t in the room. It wasn’t long until Jazmin felt comfortable to attend her appointments on her own, while mum grabbed a coffee in the reception area.
Suzie set Jazmin a series of small challenges such as going on a bus with someone from one stop to another, then she did this unaccompanied, she was then asked to stay on for two stops, gradually building up to a full a journey by herself. This was a massive achievement for Jazmin having never travelled alone on public transport.
At Louise and Jazmin’s next appointment, Louise could not believe the difference. Jazmin had travelled to her appointment on public transport by herself and had grown so much in confidence. She now had the tools and techniques to manage her anxiety levels in situations out of her comfort zone. Jazmin is so proud of her achievements and this in turn has helped her become more independent – not having to rely on mum as much. Her mum is delighted with Jazmin’s progress.
An opportunity came up with The Prince’s Trust to join the Mark and Starts programme – a placement opportunity which could potentially lead to paid employment within Marks and Spencer. Louise spoke to Jazmin about the placement and she was really keen to be put forward for it. Jazmin was very nervous about attending the interview, but Louise worked with her to make sure she was fully prepared. Unfortunately, Jazmin was not successful on this occasion, but she was determined that this was not going to get the better of her and worked on her feedback to improve her chances going forward. She even booked on to one of our interview techniques group sessions where she took part in a mock interview. Not only did she cope well in the session – she really contributed to it answering the questions with good examples.
Jazmin built up the courage and confidence to attend both employability and wellbeing courses and workshops, taking everything on board, applying everything that she had learnt. She even attended some of our creativity workshops and supported others.
Jazmin has travelled so far in her journey – with the right support at the right time along with a massive dose of determination, she has gone from a person who was reluctant to engage in conversation, maintain eye contact or travel alone to a person with a voice, who can interact with different members of the team and is always willing to participate in group settings. Jazmin now not only has the skills and tools to find work and manage her anxieties – she has the confidence and resilience to succeed.