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Anthony’s story: building confidence to take the next step towards a better future

Pluss 16 June 2021

Anthony is aged 34 and lives in Cornwall. He has been diagnosed with mild autism and he has difficulty with reading and writing. He also struggles with his mental health.

Although he has taken part in outdoor activities arranged by Cornish partner, Active Plus, in previous years, he has never had a paid job. His dream is to one day find paid employment, so he can “…at last contribute to the household like my brother.”

Since moving into the area, around 18 months ago, Anthony has had low confidence and self-esteem. Prior to joining the Health Works for Cornwall programme, Anthony enjoyed working as a volunteer on the CHAOS farm on the Roseland peninsula. CHAOS then referred Anthony onto the Health Works for Cornwall team for further support.

According to Anthony’s specialist change coach, Jill Barnard, establishing a trusting relationship from the outset was key:

“This gave Anthony the courage to step out of his comfort zone.”

Anthony discussed his confidence issues with Jill and told her, “I want to be more positive about myself.”. Jill has found that his confidence levels have increased since he enrolled on the programme, using words such as “I can”, where previously Anthony would always be thinking about saying, “I can’t”. It was clear to Jill that Anthony became fed up with being negative and decided to make a conscious effort to be more positive, he has since said to her “I am so happy now.” because of the support provided to boost his confidence.

Anthony has enjoyed his time with Health Works for Cornwall. In particular, he feels the team listened to him, and support was there if needed with regular calls to check on his progress.

Following a period of support, Anthony has started volunteering at the Cornwall Hospice Care shop in Hayle for two days a week. He is keen to try various roles in the charity shop. Anthony is a little unsure about using the till, but is keen to learn.

With this newly found confidence, Anthony would eventually like to use the skills he has learnt while volunteering, to find paid employment in the retail sector. Prior to being with Health Works for Cornwall, he would never have thought this was possible.

Anthony continues to be supported by the Health Works for Cornwall team as his confidence and experience grows through his volunteering work. When the time is right for Anthony, he will be given guidance to understand job searching, in preparation for his next steps towards paid employment.

Everyone at Health Works for Cornwall is proud of how Anthony’s confidence has grown, and they wish him all the very best as he moves forward with his life.

To find out more about Health Works for Cornwall, visit: https://www.pluss.org.uk/services/health-works-cornwall or contact the team by calling 07546 411 996 or by emailing hwc@pluss.org.uk for a friendly chat.