“Before joining the Spear Programme, I suffered from severe social anxiety disorder, to the point where I found it extremely difficult to engage in group discussion and interact with people.
I found it really hard to sustain a conversation with anyone, and I had no social life. I never went outside, other than to walk my dog. And I was just really lost, and didn’t know which career path to take.
I have experience working in warehouse roles as a logistics operative, but I found it wasn’t a healthy place for me to work, and my mental health seriously declined.
Not long after, lockdown happened, and things got even worse. I went out even less, I was withdrawn inside, and really just didn’t really know what to do. I took the initiative to do therapy, which lead to employment support with the NHS, who in turn they referred me to the Spear Programme.
At first I was really nervous. I didn’t engage in the group sessions as I would have liked to, and found it really hard to deal with my nerves. But after a couple of weeks, I found the Zoom calls an extremely valuable place to practice being outside my comfort zone and talking to people.
I found the one one calls with my Spear coaches really helpful – they helped keep me motivated and track my progress. They were really nice and supportive people.
I have developed in my confident communication, as well as developing professional behaviour and a keen attitude towards going into any workplace. Spear has also provided me with great tools to use, like targeting my CV for a specific role.
My ambition after finishing the Spear Programme is to work with animals. I am currently volunteering and I’ve recently taken up a traineeship at Surrey Docks farm. I plan on doing my Level 1 and 2 in Animal Management so I can progress to a fully paid role surrounded by animals, doing what I love. Now, I’m confident to pursue that career.
Overall, I feel like I have made unbelievable progress on the Spear Programme, from the person I was before to the person I am now. I’ve seen a complete change in confidence. I can confidently talk to anyone and put myself into any social situation. I just want to say a big thank you to the Spear coaches because they’ve really helped me on my journey. Without them, I would never have made this huge progress that I’ve seen myself.”
Reece completed the Spear Programme at Spear Kennington in June 2021. At the time of writing, he is completing his Level 1 training course with Surrey Docks Farm. Huge thanks to Reece for giving permission to share his story.