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Billy's* journey

Billy*, 19, lives with autism and wanted help from Progress to improve his social and communication skills to help prepare him for the world of work.

"I joined Progress because I wanted to improve my social skills and manage my anxieties as well as help with finding work experience.

"I live with autism, and struggle to interact with other people of my age, working in groups and socalising, so I wanted help to get experience of working in groups to improve my communications skills.

"My Progress Coach is Kuldip and Coventry Citizens Advice Bureau. Kuldip has been helpful and trustworthy and I would recommend anyone with problems or uncertainties about their future to access the service, as I am sure she would be of great help to them.

"I have had one-to-one sessions with Heather at Innovating Minds. During sessions, I have learnt how to identify negative thinking and signs that I am beginning to feel agitated or annoyed, so that I can use my coping strategies to help manage my feelings and emotions before they become an issue. I have learnt how to use breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness and distraction to manage my anxieties. I have also developed my communication skills and tools to use in social situations when I meet new people or am working in groups.

"As part of my journey, I have also received help from Voluntary Action Coventry to get some work experience and volunteering opportunities, including designing graphics for a charity. I am continuing to work on my communication skills and attending work experience at Fargo Village where I am working with a story telling and graphic design expert.

"I now feel more socially active and have feel more confident when working with other people - it is a great feeling."

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