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“I’ve been made to feel extremely useful.”

Severnside Housing customer Tom Prior spent a week’s work experience with our marketing and communications team.

He doesn’t mind people knowing he has Asperger’s and autism, in fact, he is actively championing the fact that having these things does not get in the way of his life and career aspirations.


So what does being a Severnside Housing customer mean to me and how does that impact me in my life? Well I suffer from Asperger’s and mild autism. I found this out in January 2018. This came as a light-hearted surprise. A surprise I hear you saying. How is that possible when you have a condition that is affecting your life in such a big way? I can tell that you feel sorry for me. You feel remorse and sympathy for me but to be honest there is no reason why you should. Why? Because my life is no different to yours. Yes I may have a few things holding me back but it never holds be back for long. Every obstacle I’ve had in my life I have been able to kick down and keep down.

I’m on course to fight for everything I want in my life and get a job in gaming. For now I know I have a safe place to be warm, sleep and do everything a normal person would do and I thank God for that.

Through Severnside Housing I’ve also been helped by Building Better Opportunities (BBO). This has helped me with job hunting and getting ready for work. I saw a woman called Janet Cross and she has been helping me with improving my CV and general job applications. I have found this help to be very useful. This is because I have been able to get my CV across in a more appropriate, company friendly and presentable way while being able to make it present all of my key points that I would like to show a company.

I believe that progress has been substantial because I had been able to bag an interview at BMW. Now while I didn’t get the job with them they kept my updated CV which makes me feel more confident applying for jobs and I feel more confident going for interviews. So in summary I feel like BBO has made a massive difference to my future.

On top of this, I have just finished a week’s work experience with Severnside Housing which also included time with local film production company 7Video. During the week I also got involved in writing, film editing, design and digital media. I was made to feel extremely useful. The staff are very nice, polite very helpful and more than willing to have a laugh if spirits need to be lifted while still maintaining an outstanding professional working environment.

The week was brilliant because I was able to get a very large amount of professional experience and understand more about the working environment.

So what is my message to people going through a rough time? The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed but with the right support you can go places. I’m very much looking forward to the place I go to next.