1 Jul 2022

A Gainsborough man says he can now make plans for his future following support from a new programme to help boost his confidence and take control of his life.

David*, 24, has a chronic illness and has mental health problems, meaning he’s often in pain and on lots of medication. It led to him being anxious, with extremely low confidence and self-esteem.

He was in employment in the healthcare sector, but his condition meant he would struggle. It was clear the job wasn’t right for him, and after his employer sought support to help him, he was referred to the Acistance programme, run by housing charity Acis Group and Riverside Training.

The programme serves people in two areas Lincolnshire with a mix of wellbeing interventions like one-to-one sessions, social engagements and group workshops. Participants get confidential time to talk through anything troubling them, regular opportunities to meet new people and chances establish new lines of support. 

It is funded through Shine Lincolnshire’s Community Asset Development Fund in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. 

David is being supported through a range of services, including courses, social engagements and one to one support.

He said: “I initially started on a wellbeing course and couldn’t even put my camera on. I wasn’t happy with the way I looked so didn’t want people to see me. I had become quite socially anxious, was overthinking things and became quite withdrawn.

“After a couple of weeks, I was able to put the camera on and then even started going down to the training centre to meet people in person.

“It’s early days but I feel a lot better about my future now.”

David is now a regular at Riverside Training’s Time for a Cuppa sessions and has enrolled on its Building Better Opportunities programme to get skills that employers are looking for.

David’s ambition is to find a job that he can work remotely in, safe in the knowledge he is in comfortable surroundings should his condition suddenly worsen. And he has a long-term goal of being well enough to travel the world, writing about coffee as well as writing a book about overcoming limitations.

He added: “I love working and being productive, but I knew I just couldn’t do my previous job due to my condition. I know I’m employable. I’ve got a good CV and references, but I just need some guidance to be able to find that right job and right career. I don’t want a label to stop me from doing things.”


*name changed to protect identity

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