– Brian, Creative Pathways participant
Brian joined Creative Pathways in April 2021 as an 18 years old from West Lothian.
Prior to the project Brian was facing several barriers to employment including anxiety; lack of confidence as a result of a speech impediment; difficulties in maintaining a routine; and a lack of employability skills.
Over lockdown Brian’s mental health deteriorated and as a result of low self-belief, lack of routine and feelings of isolation, he dropped out of his College course. Having nothing to do only made things worse for him.
On Creative Pathways, our tutors explored Brian’s interests, strengths and weaknesses. Once we had got to understand Brian, he was given the task of creating an animated film for mobile phones. Whilst anxious about this, Brian started to explore new tools that could help him and soon responded to the brief well. This led him to explore industry-specific software which deepened his skills and understanding.
“I used to be really anxious about animation before and now I absolutely love it!!”
Creative engagement improved Brian’s confidence, and from there he began to expand his skillset and apply his learning to the workplace – particularly in relation to critical thinking. On zoom, Brian was not comfortable speaking due to his hearing impairment. The chat function was invaluable, allowing Brian to participate in conversations around technology, ecology, the climate crisis and art.
Participants on Creative Pathways take part in outdoor activities; this aspect of the course helped Brian to come out of his shell. At first when the group met outdoors, Brian wouldn’t speak – answering questions by nodding. He soon began to speak and initiate conversations with other members of the group.
In 12 weeks, Brian saw an increase in confidence, courage, determination and drive. He developed a range of employability skills – timekeeping, attendance, commitment, attention to detail, communication, social skills, and IT ability. He achieved his SQA Employability Award at Level 3
With support from the Opportunities team within Impact Arts, Brian was given an unconditional offer from Edinburgh College – Basic Photography. Enthused and engaged he also took up a referral onto Enable’s Stage 3 Employability Course in order to keep up a routine and develop even more skills and confidence ahead of his College start date.
“Brian has really come out of his shell and started helping others, we gave him an Emotional Intelligence Certificate because of how helpful he’s been!”