Restart Scheme

Craig Begins Photography Career through the Restart Scheme

6th Jun 2024 Restart Scheme

Craig joined the Restart Scheme in December 2022, and was unemployed as he had found it hard to find work due to being autistic and suffering with anxiety. His goal of starting a photography business gave him hope despite the challenges of traditional jobs. 

Joining the Restart Scheme, Craig was assigned Victoria Smith from Serco as his Job Coach. Victoria worked with Craig to create a tailored support plan to address his anxiety and autism. Through assessments, remote appointments, counselling, and therapy, Craig learned coping strategies to navigate professional settings confidently. Victoria also connected Craig with local self-employment networks like Momentic for mentorship and training in photography.

Craig faced obstacles during his journey, as the programme's structure and changes initially increased his anxiety. The stigma around autism in the workplace was a significant hurdle, emphasising the importance of inclusive practices.

Looking for a role in photography, Craig applied for a pop-up concession with Fujifilm as a Brand Ambassador on a part time basis. Craig underwent a 3-stage interview, which included a group competency workshop. He also had to take part in 3 days training in Manchester at their flagship store. All of this put Craig out of his comfort zone, even though he has very good knowledge and a keen interest in photography. This experience and his support from the Restart Scheme has helped his confidence grow. 

The interventions from the Restart Scheme were transformative for Craig, improving his photography skills and anxiety management. With a personalised support plan and collaboration with his job coach, Craig successfully transitioned to sustainable employment in photography. His success not only showcased his potential but also promoted a more inclusive work environment.

Now empowered and confident, Craig is ready to pursue self-employment in photography. His journey demonstrates the power of personalised support in the Restart Scheme. As Craig thrives in his new role, he inspires others with neurodivergent conditions, showing that with the right support, anything is achievable. Craig's story shows how tailored support can empower individuals with neurodivergent conditions.

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