David went to mainstream primary schools and was diagnosed with dyslexia aged 7.  He became school-phobic and very anxious not long after that due to being bullied, but then his mother found a school that really suited him.  David went to a special secondary school and then college.  He got GCSEs and a GNVQ, and later did some volunteering at a youth club which he really enjoyed. He has done various work experience and volunteering roles, but had not secured paid employment and was referred to Autus by Job Centre Plus.

Autus appealed to him because he likes video games, and the Job Centre Advisor thought this would be a good match and could help him build the skills and confidence to apply for and secure paid work.  

David got to grips with using the virtual environment very quickly, and took on a leadership role by supporting other service users.  His confidence has improved tremendously since participating in the Job Club and he has become a key member of the group, enthusiastically taking part in the range of 'in-world' activities and workshops Autus runs. This has helped him to feel more confident in a group setting and working as part of a team.

David also says, "I've learnt how to conduct myself better at interviews.  My first interview in 2015 was for a Teaching Assistant role at Stratton Education Centre which I didn't get because it went to someone with more experience.  My second interview was last November at Lawn Primary School for a Midday Supervisor - which is a casual role but I was successful, and they contact me when they are short-staffed."  David was interviewed for another school based job which he didn't get, but feedback was great in that the only reason he didn't get it was due to his lack of classroom experience.  

David continues to apply for a permanent role and says, "None of this has dampened my enthusiasm or confidence!"

Donna Thompson CEO, Autus states: "David's attitude to not securing the most recent job was to call and write to the school to ask them for an opportunity to build his classroom experience through some sort of work placement. This is just the sort of response we work to achieve from our service users as they build skills and resilience for the professional environment."

David now has a personal goal of starting a gaming club which Autus hopes to assist him with.