Nigel, a talented outsider artist, was keen to find a more flexible job that suited his health needs and aspirations. Working closely with our practitioner Liz, Nigel received support with job hunting, interview practice and accessing therapeutic services. Eventually, Nigel was offered a job but decided it was time to take a different route. 

“My passion is art. In my spare time I create art, my whole flat is covered in art work, my motivation is art. I want to carry on after I retire.”  

said Nigel.

Nigel had been working in the same role for 7 years and though his manager had reduced his hours to part-time, he was keen to find a new role that was customer facing but less physical pressure, particularly on his feet and knees.

He mentioned that he felt out of the loop with interviews, thus the holistic support was geared toward building confidence, improving emotional wellbeing and building on his aspirations.

Working closely with Liz, Nigel completed a new CV, cover letter and had begun applying for various roles in the retail sector. Alongside this, he began practicing interviews via role play to build his confidence and learn how to highlight his strengths and skills.

“Liz has been really helpful in offering the support I need – I can’t fault her to be honest.” he said. “She was friendly and chatty and helped me find jobs that I was interested in.”

While receiving employment support, Nigel had been dealing with a knee and foot injury. The medication he was taking to reduce the pain had had several side effects, causing him to become quite ill. Consequently, he had been going in for tests to determine the best treatment going forward.

Despite these challenges, Nigel had successfully interviewed with Marks and Spencer and eventually managed to secure what he believed to be a more flexible part-time role. Soon after, however, he discovered that the role had changed to early mornings with more physical labour which was different to what he had originally applied for.

After speaking to Liz about the change, his health and him nearing early retirement age, Nigel decided that it was time to pursue his true passion. “My passion is art. In my spare time I create art, my whole flat is covered in art work, my motivation is art,”’ he said.

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Nigel makes me believe that even if you’re feeling a bit stuck, just keep pushing for what you want. It might be a tough journey but if it’s something that will bring you joy in the long run, then it will be worth it. This journey has brought him a new lease of life. ~ Liz, Practitioner

“The support helped me realise that I wanted to study for a university degree instead of getting another job. With a BA degree behind me, I thought I might stand a better chance of getting another job in my preferred field.” 

said Nigel.

“The support helped me realise that I wanted to study for a university degree instead of getting another job. With a BA degree behind me, I thought I might stand a better chance of getting another job in my preferred field,” he added.

Working from his colourful home studio in Islington, his passion for art is palpable and continuous. After applying to the university of his choice, he eventually secured a place for a foundation year, and is now in the middle of his first year. So far, he has found the course both exciting and challenging, and has been experimenting with different mediums and techniques. “When I told Liz, I wanted to do an art degree, she was happy for me. If I didn’t have Liz, I wouldn’t be here now, sitting here talking to you now!” he said.

Further to intensive employment support, Nigel received financial support to help cover living costs and travel expenses for interviews.

Working closely with Liz and his housing provider’s finance team, he also received support relating to benefits, rent arrears and budgeting. Liz had also encouraged Nigel to keep in regular contact with his GP and seek therapeutic support as and when required.

Reflecting on the sessions, Liz believed that the main benefit was the self-confidence it gave him to pursue his passion and build on his natural strengths. “He makes me believe that even if you’re feeling a bit stuck, just keep pushing for what you want. It might be a tough journey but if it’s something that will bring you joy in the long run, then it will be worth it.”

She added: “I’m happy that he is following his passion because not doing so was having an impact on his wellbeing. This journey has brought him a new lease of life!"

To view more of Nigel’s work or to contact him, you can follow him Instagram or Facebook.