The Challenge

In a nutshell the challenge was to help a 23-year-old young man in Social Care to re-connect with his dream of becoming a Security Guard.

During his final year at college TJ (not his real name) had a year-long work experience as part of a security team at The Roman Museum in Bath. His hyper-focus, attention to detail and memory made him a natural fit for security work. Where others were bored tracking the movement of visitors TJ was absolutely ‘tuned in’ looking for and even anticipating problems before they happened. His quick wit, natural charm and positive nature won him much admiration and he was offered a job at the end of the experience.

The offer of a job made his parents proud and demonstrated early potential.  Unfortunately, TJ’s family support network was in Cornwall and with him leaving college near Bath, there was no one to support his needs as a very young man with Autism.

TJ returned home to Cornwall and undertook an SIA security and CCTV licence. He scored incredibly well in the practical activities since he followed instructions to the letter and was able to memorise detailed processes and procedures.  

In the next two years TJ managed to get some part-time shifts with a local security firm and was part of the security detail as a doorman and at a wide-ranging number of social events. After a while the security work appeared to dry up without explanation, and when lockdown came all the security work ended completely.

This situation precipitated a downward spiral in TJ’s mental health. He started to get embedded in a completely negative routine where he was gaming and binge-watching TV into the early hours. He started to put on a lot of weight because of poor diet and lack of exercise. By his own admission the positive happy guy had slowly been replaced by an unhappy and irritable individual with very little to look forward to in life.  

What we did

Our coach worked with TJ through lockdown initially as a Support Worker and then as his Employment Adviser. Every week we undertook different activities to help his mental and physical health. We reinforced a calorie-controlled diet through Slimming World. He played golf and American football most weeks to improve physical fitness. We helped him to produce his CV, endless cover letters and supported him through telephone interviews and one face to face interview with a local security company. We managed secure funding for software for his computer to help with applications. Motiv-8 accompanied him to his lessons on basic Maths at Adult Education and his coach, who is in fact a qualified teacher ended up delivering Maths lessons to him. We had planned work experiences at NHS Health Records and the CCTV centre locally as a prelude to trying to develop a bespoke apprenticeship.

Trust of others and understanding of Autism were the two ingredients missing in TJ’s life. During our 10 months with TJ trust and understanding built slowly, there were over 300 hours of physical support with upwards of 100 emails and telephone calls on his behalf to various organisations. This included many hours of research around developing an activity plan centred on motivating and understanding TJ as an individual with Autism.

The outcome

TJ has secured a part-time job with Kestrel Guards. This was a result of a speculative cover letter written by Motiv-8 on his behalf. TJ’s story struck a chord with a senior manager at the security firm, and he gave TJ a chance. This was earnt on merit at the interview where TJ demonstrated a natural affinity with security work and desire to be a Security Guard. He is currently going through a thorough vetting process and as soon as this is complete he will start his induction and training with his new company.

The transformation in TJ is astounding. He is happy, positive, motivated, and focused. He has given his measurements for a new security outfit and is very much looking forward to his first paid work in more than two years. He now has a strong positive mental health and is making great strides with his physical fitness and weight loss too.

This has been an exercise and proof that perseverance and understanding of the individual and of openness and honesty with the employer around TJ’s needs as a person with Autism brought about a fantastic result.

TJ will receive continued support from Motiv-8 in the first few months of his new job. We will remain an on-call point of contact on any problems or issue for both management and TJ. I will specifically provide ongoing mentoring support to him if he struggles with anxiety or understanding social situations in his new workplace.

We are so proud of TJ and the exceptional work of the coach in this case. A true refection of the company values, where “every individual matters” and our commitment to going above and beyond to enable people to have the futures they deserve.  

This COMPASS programme is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and supported and managed by CSW group.


We’re proud of our success

86%Of our clients have progressed into employment, further education or training on completion of our group programmes.
77%Of our clients have progressed into employment, further education or training on completion of our one to one programmes.
100%Of our staff are experienced, fully qualified teachers and coach-mentors with DBS clearance.
110%Is what we give in terms of support, guidance and coaching to unlock a person’s true potential to help them achieve their goals.