Twenty-three-year-old Sophie McNicol from Ayr has started a dream career as a stained-glass artist after help from the Fair Start Scotland service.
Why Sophie joined Fair Start Scotland
Sophie was referred to StartScotland by her Jobcentre Plus Work Coach. She has autism and at the time was dealing with some confidence issues, as well as issues with sleeping and eating patterns. She felt that keeping a routine was a challenge.
Prior to joining the service, Sophie had limited work experience although had carried out some volunteering work in graphic design. She didn’t feel ready for work and wanted to concentrate on improving her health.
How Fair Start Scotland helped?
Our health and wellbeing team worked closely with Sophie, providing support through regular appointments based on improving mood and lifestyle. Sophie also took part in a behavioural activation group run in conjunction with one of our trusted partners. Collectively, this work proved successful, with Sophie showing increased confidence levels and enhanced employability skills, edging her towards a return to the workplace.
Getting the job
Sophie’s confidence continued to grow and took part in a work trial a couple of months after first joining the service. She impressed managers there, and started working there part-time before the firm moved premises and Sophie was unable to travel to their new base.
Undeterred, Sophie continued to work hard and with the support of the StartScotland team, she secured an Apprenticeship as a stained-glass artist. She was delighted to be offered the role and has subsequently embraced the opportunity. She is aware that opportunities like this do not come around very often, and is looking forward to learning more about her craft and gaining relevant qualifications.
She has a very good relationship with her new employer and feels able to talk to them about any issues and is of course still supported by our in-work support team.