World Autism Day: Chloe's Story

By Saints Foundation Media time Fri 01 Apr Saints Foundation News
Photo by Saints Foundation Media

For Chloe, it was confidence that held her back from finding the career she’s always wanted. But now she’s refusing to let her autism and anxiety limit her opportunities, and with Saints Works’ support, she’s landed her dream job.

On Chloe’s first day with Saints Works, she was filled with nerves. Growing up with autism and severe anxiety often limited her opportunities, but Saints Foundation’s life skills and employability project has opened up new paths to explore.

Just 12 weeks of workshops and 2 interviews later, she has landed herself a job at a nursery, helping to look after young children as they learn and play. She found the job online and applied with the support of our Employability & Life Skills Coordinator Eloise Coster.

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Eloise and Chloe talk through her Saints Works workbook

“When we enrol onto Saints Works, we sit down to explore what you’re good at and what you want to get better at,” Eloise tells us. The Saints Works team create a skills map for each participant and then help them research which careers suit their strengths. “Chloe put a lot of hard work in. Without that research, it would have been much more challenging to do applications.”

Creating an environment where Chloe felt calm and confident was important to help her thrive. For the targeted cohort of Saints Works, numbers are capped at just seven per workshop, and there’s lots of breaks out in the fresh air.

For Chloe’s autism, the noise levels are particularly important. “Not too much noise, not too quiet,” she tells us, “I can’t work in silence, which is why I always hated exams. Having some music in the background really helps me, but if it’s too loud, it’s a sensory overload.”

the world would be a better place if everyone was like chloe.

ELOISE COSTER
EMPLOYABILITY & LIFE SKILLS COORDINATOR, SAINTS FOUNDATION

This focus on individual needs allows each participant to focus on improving their life skills and finding a route into employment or training which suits them. “I was worried about coming here, but now I’ve done it, I love it."

Eloise is full of praise for Chloe and her constant positivity in the face of adversity. “Nothing holds you back, does it?” she tells Chloe. “You give everything a go, you don’t give up – you’re a great role model for the other participants. The world would be a better place if everyone was like Chloe.” 

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