Case Studies



Having completed his A levels, Jack had no idea what he was going to do next. He’s very bright, hardworking and personable, and has an acute attention to detail. However, Jack states that his Asperger’s causes him to struggle with new social situations.  Therefore, he had been unsuccessful in securing a paid job.

His aim for his time at Phoenix was: “To overcome social difficulties by learning new skills, building confidence, developing my ability to communicate with a wider audience, and, ultimately, to secure a paid job with an empathic employer”.

Karen and Kenny worked with Jack on his skills and confidence, then Mark took Jack to a couple of trial  work placement days at Travis Perkins. Jack did us all proud! He is now a full-time, paid employee at Travis Perkins.

Jack states: “I’m now able to talk to customers with confidence, both face-to-face and over the phone, which I would previously have avoided altogether”. Jack’s employer states: “There isn’t anything that his colleagues do that Jack doesn’t do. It’s been amazing to see his confidence grow in the short time that he’s been here”.

Jack pops in every week to eat his lunch with the Phoenix team – he is so positive about his job and life in general.


Shane is such a joy. As he says, he’s “always positive”. He comes into Phoenix two days a week and works steadily and happily.

Shane has a very strong work ethic. His commitment helps to keep Phoenix’s doors open to others who face similar barriers to him. We have provided him with a bump cap to protect him from drop attacks, and ever since he’s never at Phoenix without it.

Whether it’s maths for our Multiply grant, or gardening for our People’s Project, he’s always game to learn new things.

And he loves it at Phoenix because he has friends here, he feels part of a community, we do fun things like go to the football and he much prefers being here to watching TV at home.

Shane 1 (2)
20th anniversary
Shane 1 (3)
Shane 1 (1)


It’s astonishing to see how much Aiesha has developed as a person and professionally since she first joined us. Together we have worked so hard. She is now able to manage her behaviour and time. She understands how to manage her Autism alongside appropriate workplace and social behaviours. She was progressing well, and when we heard about the Governments Kickstart Scheme we all instantly agreed she would be a great candidate. It was the perfect stepping stone to eventually help her move into mainstream paid employment.

Aiesha truly flourished in her Kickstart role and, throughout her six-month placement, she was given many different roles and responsibilities to prepare her for the world of work outside of Phoenix. We couldn’t have been more thrilled when she got a paid job the week after she finished her Kickstart role. She began in a card shop and is now working in a supermarket. We are so proud of how far she has come and look forward to seeing her continue to thrive. We love that Aiesha still comes in to see us, she brings such a happy, cheerful energy to our workplace.

Aiesha: “Phoenix has helped me a lot, especially with job searching after I finished my Kickstart role. When I then lost one of my jobs after I had left Phoenix, they took me back in and helped me find another. They are always there for me. I still pop in every week to see everyone, it’s so nice to see them all.”


We are incredibly proud of what Wilfred has accomplished over the past few years with us and to see him move into full time paid employment away from Phoenix is heart-warming. It was a real pleasure supporting Wilfred on his journey and we wish him every success for the future.

“I came to Phoenix in 2020 after university unsure of what to do with myself. I spent time as a service user for a few months before receiving the opportunity to work as a fundraising apprentice at Phoenix. I took on the role and completed the apprenticeship in April this year, alongside completing my fundraising qualification at Corndel.


I am currently an operations administrator for QA (one of the largest IT training companies in the UK), a role I started in June.


I can say confidently that without the support and guidance at Phoenix I would not be in the position I am now. The support offered by Phoenix is very personal and helpful towards all their people”.


Everyone loves Viv. He has been at Phoenix longer than anyone else. Viv likes the structure here. It’s a place to meet friends and gives him a purpose to life, he feels safe and wanted here. And we hugely value his contribution.

We have been told that Viv rarely speaks when he is at home; at Phoenix he chats constantly. When we have karaoke, he is always the first to take the microphone. Here he can express himself and we are always here to listen.

Viv is always cheerful when he is at Phoenix and seeing him so happy makes everyone feel better. He is an important and valued member of the Phoenix team.


Susan, Ben’s Mum, has written these lovely words of support.

“Phoenix is an exceptional organisation. They stand out because of their high commercial standards and their dedication to achieving success for each person who goes there. The trustees, staff and volunteers work as a single united team, putting the service users at the forefront of everything they do. Walking in the front door there is a feeling of busy activity watched over by people who care.


Our son has a learning disability. He has undertaken a variety of jobs at Phoenix and has worked with a greater level of attention to detail and stickability than we had previously imagined, which we believe is a result of the friendly support and high standards expected of him. As parent/carers we feel that he is safe and supported at Phoenix. When he faces challenges, we are always kept informed and involved.


The uniqueness of Phoenix is the combination of giving people real commercial work while managing out some of the physical barriers to work (e.g. stamina) and supporting people in all areas of their lives where needed. They provide excellent role-modelling and everyone is treated as an individual – and given space to be themselves. For some of the young people with learning disabilities this can be the first time they have been expected to knuckle down and work for extended periods on the same task. Phoenix expect high standards from the service users in terms of time-keeping and sticking to tasks. This is always managed in a friendly and sensitive way making allowances for any specific needs but being firm when necessary (a tricky balance managed well). They involve everyone in the buzz of delivering products to a deadline and sharing in the celebration and satisfaction of a job well done.


There is a sense of community, friendship and hope. Phoenix make working a positive experience. In addition to daily work, our son has enjoyed the many social gatherings. These events have helped clarify for him the boundaries between work life and social life for the first time. Many of the service users have complex issues to manage and by giving them wraparound support (with benefits, health and general lifestyle) people can then focus on working.


Phoenix is also making a significant contribution to changing the perception that local businesses have of employing people with disabilities and health issues. As a parent/carer we observe a huge gulf between the types of ‘proper jobs’ advertised externally and what we feel our young people have the skills and stamina for. But at the same time we know there is a contribution that they can make. By making their successes visible, Phoenix encourage other businesses to come on board thereby increasing the number and range of opportunities available.


Phoenix provides a unique and hugely needed service in our area. There just isn’t anywhere else like it.”