A Potential Diamond has supplied this inspirational story about Steven finding work after being unemployed all his adult life.
Steven, 24, is hard-working, conscientious and totally reliable.
He's also autistic.
Steven has been unemployed all his adult life. He's been on many government-funded programmes to support him to find paid employment but none of them have worked for him.
When we met Steven in December 2013 we took the time to get to know him, his family and his community. Every hour we spent with Steven was time used to find out more about his gifts, his talents and his autism.
Slowly but surely we learnt from Steven what work environment would suit him best.
Then we introduced him to Andy.
Andy, is an area manager for a large cleaning company that holds contracts for a number of retail outlets across the South East.
Andy recognised that Steven could shine in a job where he could work within a small team of colleagues who could get used to his style of communication and how best he learns to carry out tasks he's required to do.
Andy offered Steven a week's work trial and we work shadowed him every step of the way to ensure that everything went smoothly. Following the trial, a delighted Andy offered Steven a permanent position of employment.
A Potential Diamond supports people with autism, Asperger's Syndrome or mild learning disabilities into paid employment in Sussex, Surrey and Kent.