Luke's story - Avenues Group
30 - 1993-2023

Luke’s story

Thursday 13th of July 2017

When Luke* first came to Avenues East he was suffering from depression and did not want to leave the security of his bedroom. He now has a full-time job, and the end goal of working for British Telecom (BT).

In January 2016 Luke was signposted to Avenues East with a view to support him into work and improve his self-esteem and confidence in the community.  The family had approached other organisations but had not received any support and Lukes’s mother was extremely anxious about the developing situation.  Luke, who has autism and type1 diabetes, was also suffering with depression, not wanting to leave the security of his bedroom.  Luke had been bullied at school, struggled to cope with social interactions and could barely have a telephone conversation.



Luke’s Placement Officer competed an initial assessment in which it became clear that Luke is an incredibly talented and bright young man bursting with potential that desperately needed to be nurtured.  It turns out that Luke had been offered an IT placement at Cambridge University but due to his barriers felt unable to take the opportunity and his life became a vicious downward circle.

But things were about to change for Luke as he had now met a team of people who were committed whole-heartedly in supporting and developing young people with disabilities. His Placement Officer quickly arranged a two-week work experience placement in June 2016 at BT headquarters in Martlesham.

After completing travel training, he successfully attended the placement during which he designed a web application that is currently being used by the Research Department at BT!  Alongside this Luke began to volunteer in a local charity shop that helped to improve his soft skills and confidence in the community and he quickly started to develop.

Luke also devoted many hours to Avenues East filming and producing two promotional videos and volunteering at events that he said helped with his self-esteem, and the team saw this amazingly quick-witted and funny young man starting to emerge.  In September 2016 Luke’s Placement Officer supported him in producing a C.V. and he applied for a six-week traineeship at BT that he successfully completed. He then decided that his next goal was to apply for an apprenticeship at BT

Luke independently and successfully got through to interview stage with his apprenticeship application and although he was unsuccessful was given some very useful and constructive feedback ‘for the next time he applies’. Luke took this very well with a mature attitude and in a meeting with his family and Placement Officer, he agreed that he would need to improve on his personal development before he felt ready for the responsibility and would side step for a year.

In March 2017 Luke’s Placement Officer arranged with Luke’s work coach at the MyGo centre to put him on some training to work in an ‘up and coming’ store which was soon to open locally to where Luke lives.  He had a successful interview and was offered a 12-hour contract helping to set the store up.

Luke now works full time, passed his theory driving test and currently working on passing the practical. In one and a half years this depressed young man who would not leave his bedroom and was extremely socially anxious has gone on to get a full time paid job, driving licence and ultimate goal of working for British Telecom in IT.