Liam’s newfound confidence

Before Liam started at National Star in Hereford, leaving the house and mixing with people made him anxious.

He didn’t leave his home for two years and trying to fit into mainstream school was a crisis point for him.

‘I felt very isolated and insular,’ said Liam. ‘I didn’t really leave the house much. National Star has given me methods to deal with anxiety.’

What attracted him to National Star’s Wessington Court Farm was the farm dog Fred. ‘I just find being around animals is easier than humans,’ said Liam.

‘Animals are more relaxed and you don’t have to worry about what you say as much.’

During his two–year work outcome and personal development programme, Liam transformed into a confident young man. He went from finding it difficult to eat with his peers to leading life skills questions and delivering a presentation to students and staff. He maintained a work placement with a small group of people in a charity eBay shop.

After leaving college, Liam began volunteering two days a week on the till of a busy charity shop. He also managed to go away for a few days without his family for the first time, demonstrating just how much he had developed at National Star.

Liam at his leavers’ ceremony presentation with tutor Jonathan

‘Before I started college, I couldn’t walk to the end of the road because I’d turn white – you could literally see the blood drain from me – but to be at such a starting point meant that things could only improve. Now I feel much more confident and all round happier.

‘Without National Star I would not be as confident as I am now. I am stronger both physically and emotionally and am ready to face the future.’

Discover how our work–related learning programmes can equip young people with disabilities with the confidence and skills they need to get a job.