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Muir builds his friendships and tackles his anxiety with Fair Start Scotland

Why did Muir join Fair Start Scotland?

Muir joined Fair Start Scotland to help him move forward and find a job that suited his skills. He’s been out of work for a long period due to personal issues. He suffers with anxiety which meant that getting out and being around people was difficult and stressful for him. He is also a carer for his parents which entails getting daily supplies and obtaining medication for them when they need refills.

Muir had a good work history and is well educated but his anxiety stopped him from going for the jobs he wanted.

How Fair Start Scotland helped

Muir met with his personal adviser Katie Dryburgh who recognised his anxiety so arranged to have one to one meetings with him until he was comfortable being in a group setting. She introduced Muir to our health and wellbeing team as well as tutor, Samuel who was able to focus on his self-confidence. Gradually Muir started to gain confidence and attended some of our workshops but in small groups, while continue to manage his anxiety.

COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on Muir’s progress, it made him feel very low and unmotivated. Muir expressed to Samuel that he wasn’t feeling himself as he was staying with his parents in order to care for them and he was unable to see his children as much as he liked. Samuel contacted Muir to see if he had access to IT equipment to try and get him involved in virtual workshops, so he didn’t feel so isolated.

To begin with, Muir was only comfortable speaking with Samuel on a one to one basis using his iPad and phone, but he gradually began joining into the small groups sessions where other participants were in a similar position.

During the calls, Samuel instilled a bit of fun such as quizzes to get the participants engaged. The social aspect of the calls has helped Muir become more confident speaking in a group and now looks forward to the group sessions.

What’s next

Muir’s long-term goal is to continue with his jobsearch however the lockdown has made it difficult for him to find the right job. The Ayr team continues to support him with his anxiety as well as focusing on his key skills. By attending the sessions Muir is starting to build up his network, making new friends.

Muir will continue to take part in the Zoom sessions gradually increasing the calls to twice a week to keep him engaged during this difficult time.


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