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"I can finally move on with my life" - Neil's Story

A photo of Mark painting a wall at a HARP property

Neil, one of our residents, had a dream - a dream that one day he would not be held back by his dyslexia. Neil moved into HARP accommodation in December 2020 after he found himself with nowhere to stay.

Neil is hard-working by nature and has always wanted to work. For the past 20 years, Neil has been working with the DWP, trying to get his dyslexia recognised so that he can get the help he needs in the workplace. In the past, Neil had worked in factories and construction, work which he thoroughly enjoyed.

"I've tried doing the Maths and English courses multiple times but end up failing because I just don't have the help I need to pass. I have been trying to do them for years so that I can get my forklift license and finally move on with my life."

After trying to get support for many years, Neil found himself homeless and came to HARP for help.

“I’ve been trying to get my dyslexia recognised for years – HARP is the first organisation who have helped me get the recognition I need to help me keep a job”.

Neil met his key worker Duncan and told him his story. After researching how best to help Neil move forward with his life, Duncan came across a dyslexia assessment for work and educational practices. If Neil could access this assessment, Duncan was sure it would open numerous doors for him. The only problem was that the test cost £720, a prohibitive sum for someone unemployed and in receipt of benefits. To help Neil fulfil his dream, Duncan reached out to Lighthouse Club - a charity for construction workers. They were incredibly understanding, as they knew people who had gone through similar issues. Lighthouse Club kindly offered to pay for Neil's entire assessment.

Neil has since taken his test and was told that, although he does have dyslexia, he is also of above-average intelligence. This is something he has needed to hear his whole life! Neil's diagnosis will now qualify him for additional help on his driving theory education and test, as well as access to specialised dyslexia teaching to help him study for the English courses that he is starting this month.

Duncan, Neil's key worker, said: "For me, this is just the start of Neil's HARP journey, and we will continue supporting him until he achieves all of his objectives."

Now that Neil has his dyslexia assessment completed, he is looking to the future and wants to raise more awareness about the employment issues faced by people with undiagnosed learning difficulties like dyslexia.

“This has taken away a good chunk of my working life, but it's not just about me. My relationships and my family have also suffered. My son has dyslexia - I don’t want him to suffer like me. I want people to know that there is help out there - it can be hard to find but with the right help and support, you can get there.”


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