Tim’s life has been transformed since his new job unlocked his potential

In 2016, Witney based Tim, 33 was living with anxiety and struggling to find work for some time – but now he can look back on five years in a steady job and an increase in his skills and independence.  

His life has been transformed since finding a suitable role and, in addition to his progress in the world of work, he has now moved into his home and his confidence is much higher.

Many employers felt they were unable to offer Tim the right workplace environment and support, and after searching without any success Tim was referred to Oxfordshire Employment – an Oxfordshire County Council run service which supports those with health or disability needs to find a job.

With their support, he secured an opportunity to join the team at White Brothers, an Oxfordshire based disability confident employer, which supplies products to charity shops across the UK.

Since then Tim’s professional growth has led to greater independence in his personal life too. Apart from moving into his own home he has expanded his own interests and pursuits.

He said: “It hasn’t always been straightforward for me to think about work and find the right roles but since joining White Brothers that’s changed. I work with people from all sorts of backgrounds and have enjoyed getting to know my colleagues. Everyone was incredibly supportive when I joined and now I get to offer that support for newcomers – it’s very fulfilling.”

Learning on the job

“Certain aspects of the role were a struggle at first. I felt challenged by the idea of multi-tasking and if I didn’t achieve one of my targets I would feel disappointed and stressed. My manager and the team worked with me to break down my tasks in a way that was easier to work towards and helped me achieve the targets without feeling overwhelmed.”

Since joining White Brothers through Oxfordshire Employment, Tim’s confidence has come on leaps and bounds. His social life isn’t the only positive that’s resulted from entering the world of work. A short time after joining White Brothers, Tim moved into his own home independent from his parents.

He said: “Building my own home felt like a big milestone for me and one I’ve wanted to reach for a long time. It’s meant I can enjoy my own space and structure and pursue all my personal interests outside of work.”

“We were pleased to see Tim join the team and help him on his first introduction into the workplace,” said Matthew Keates, manager at White Brothers. “Structure and daily routine are so important for all of us, and we knew it was something Tim valued a lot. His presence has significantly added to our team, and we always appreciate his determination and hard work.”

Encouraging growth

As with many new employees, White Brothers worked closely with Tim to ensure his induction and training period was tailored to his way of thinking and took his anxiety into account, and challenges or concerns were addressed head on.

Oxfordshire Employment’s support to Tim and White Brothers was instrumental to the placement. The team offered hands on assistance with helping Tim find his feet in the role, as well as supporting White Brothers on its journey to becoming a disability confident employer.

“Oxfordshire Employment isn’t here to simply place someone in a job – we work carefully to find the right environment and the right role for each individual in need of additional support,” said Will Gardner, Team Manager at Oxfordshire Employment. “We felt Tim’s skills and drive closely matched those needed at White Brothers and it’s clear after five years it was a good match!”

Five years on

“Tim is a hugely valued employee here at White Brothers,” said Matthew. “It’s been incredibly encouraging to see his growth and development over these last years and how his independence and confidence has had such a positive impact on his personal life. Five years has gone very quickly – we hope to see Tim here for another five!”

The county council’s supported employment efforts, and disability confident employers like White Brothers and others across Oxfordshire, play a vital role in supporting individuals with a health or disability need, such as mental health illnesses and challenges, lead more independent and fulfilling daily lives.

Tim concluded: “Work is really important for so many people but for me, it meant my whole life changed for the better. I never thought I would find such a great job with such a supportive team.”

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