Aberystwyth resident, Chris Tuner, aged 25, is autistic and struggles with low confidence which limits his social and professional opportunities. With his own determination, together with help and support from RAY Ceredigion and Workways+, Chris' life has taken a positive turn and he's now seeking employment in IT and warehousing.

Life was difficult for Chris. At his lowest point, Chris found it very difficult to leave his home, could not enter shops or use public transport.

Social Services referred Chris to Workways+, a service dedicated to helping people improve their lives through volunteering, training, work experience and employment.

The Ceredigion Workways+ team assigned Chris a dedicated mentor, Carly Evans to work with him on a one to one basis. A focus on confidence-building and volunteering opportunities was the agreed course of action. Carly contacted RAY Ceredigion, a charity dedicated to helping young adults with disabilities aged 17 to 30.

RAY Ceredigion was able to offer Chris a place on their 10-week 'Dyma Ni' programme, funded by Cynnal y Cardi. Participants of the programme take part in a variety of projects including, growing organic fruit and vegetables, carpentry and cooking. Dyma Ni helps people work on practical activities both individually and in groups with the aim of developing skills and building confidence.

Completing the 10-week programme, Chris has thrived and his confidence has grown. Chris was able to commute via public transport to attend Dyma Ni, which was a major development and one that will help him secure full-time employment.

Workways+ is now helping Chris search for jobs. Workways+ is supporting Chris with identifying job opportunities, conducting mock interviews, developing his CV and helping him to apply for jobs.

Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council said: “It’s wonderful to see two Ceredigion based services working closely together to help people get on in life. Chris is a great example of someone that despite barriers to overcome has embraced support and now is enjoying the benefits. Workways+, which is delivered in Ceredigion by officers from Ceredigion Council, help people who are unemployed or economically inactive take control of their lives through funded skills training, volunteering, employment support and work experience. They have great relationships with private sector employers and social enterprises like RAY Ceredigion. If you would like help to make a change in your life then I encourage you contact Workways+.”

Workways+ in Ceredigion is part funded by Ceredigion County Council and is staffed by their Officers. Workways+ is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

RAY Ceredigion is seeking volunteers to help them deliver programmes like Dyma Ni. For further information, visit www.rayceredigion.org.uk.

Workways+ is available in Ceredigion, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Neath Port Talbot.

For information on how the Ceredigion Workways + team can help you, please call 01545 574193 or visit www.workways.wales.