Eight years later Anthony continues to blossom in career & confidence!

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We recently heard from one of our ex-clients - eight years after supporting him into employment!  Reading about how, following the support he had received from us, he has blossomed in both his career and confidence – filled us with pure joy!  We contacted Anthony to find out more, and below we share his inspirational story…

Every day at Twining Enterprise our experienced team of Employment Specialists help people who struggle with their mental health to sustain and find good employment.  We celebrate our clients successes and the jobs they secure during their time with us, and we often look back and wonder how the clients we have helped over the years are getting on.  What have they gone on to do?  Are they still working?  Has their mental health condition remained manageable?  Are they happy?

You can therefore imagine our delight when, a few weeks ago, an email from an ex-client popped into our inbox… to say thank you for the help they had received many years ago and to let us know how they had been doing since moving on from our service.  After receiving the email, we spoke with Anthony to learn more about how receiving our support, when he had been in a very dark place, helped him to grow, find his confidence in the business world and begin a life changing career.

Anthony explained, “When I found Twining Enterprise I’d just left a mental health unit in Edgware and I’d been unemployed for months.  I’d come out of an episode of manic depression – which had been an incredibly difficult time for me.

I was recommended by my care co-ordinator to start working with one of Twining’s Employment Advisors, Jane, who worked with me to develop my CV and telephone manner.  She was very compassionate – she could see I was going through a very rough time – and she helped me to just get a bit of confidence – I didn’t even know how to pick up the phone or write an email at that point – so these were just very first tentative steps.  We worked closely for around 2-3 months, and, looking back now, I realise how incredibly patient she was with me.

After doing the work with Jane, I landed a job in an office on a basic internship; this allowed me to experience the ‘9 to 5’ routine.  The job gave me an avenue, it got me into the business world.  It taught me about what it was to be in the corporate world and what it took for me to do to succeed.  A lot of what I learnt during those early days are principles that hold true in all companies – work hard, be courteous, be kind – these principles have been my building blocks for jobs going forward.  I’ve learnt that attitude goes a long way in life.

The job allowed me to progress, it also kept my time occupied which was really important – as I wasn’t at university like many of my peers – so it gave me something to do.  The job gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning – it gave me purpose and structure.

The story though did not end there though! I had the courage to apply for, and complete, a degree in Modern and Contemporary History at Queen Mary’s University and got a 2:1!

Shortly after graduating a recruitment consultant called me and I ended up getting a job in a huge media company, initially doing their HR work, but then I moved on to become a data analyst initially working with technologies like Python and SQL.  I was part of this organisation during COVID and was regularly in meetings and on calls with some of the leading companies in the UK, discussing some really big issues with them.

After that job I moved to another big advertising agency.  I’ve now been there for 3-4 months in a similar data analyst role, working with some big clients, which has done wonders for my confidence, especially considering where I have come from.  Ten years ago, I was in hospital for nine weeks battling with a serious mental health illness – and even when I had made some recovery I was still very shy and not talking at all.

I am now 28 years old and I am no longer frightened to pick up the phone and answer an email, far from it, I lead client calls and answer emails virtually every day. I am proud to say I am a data analyst and I now work with a huge range of cutting edge technologies such as Python, SQL, Tableau, Google Data Studio, Advanced Excel, PowerPoint, TGI, LinkedIn Ads and Search Ads; and as an Analyst I work with some huge clients. 

There are other data analysts that may be more competent than me – but I always turn up on time, go the extra mile for the client, and I like to think I am good to talk to. I’m always there to reassure people and act as a ‘go between’.  This is a far cry from where I imagined I’d be!

My mental health is also well managed now, and if I look after myself then my outlook is good – happy in work and happy in life. I do a lot of meditation and exercise and I don’t drink or smoke – in fact I’ve changed my whole lifestyle.  I’m managing my mental health really well now.  I also have a really strong support network in place.

I hope to go even further in my career one day – watch this space! – I don’t think people with mental health conditions like bipolar, schizophrenia and anxiety should be held back if they want to achieve more.

I would really recommend Twining’s service.  It was a great starting point for anyone going through a difficult period.  Without Twining Enterprise things would have been so much harder for me.  If I hadn’t had that guidance there, at a young age, then things might not have worked out in the same way.

Really my email had just been to say thank you to the Twining. I realise my story could have been very different!”

Twining Enterprise Chief Executive, Oli Jacobs, said, “We were all deeply touched to have received Anthony’s email after eight years of him having engaged with our service, and to learn of the crucial role our work played in helping him realise a happy and fulfilled life when he had found himself in such difficult circumstances.  This is exactly the purpose of our work – to embrace people with mental health problems and provide meaningful stepping stones so they can take forward their aspirations.  We regularly ask ourselves how we can create more stories like Anthony’s.”

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