Only starting mainstream school at the age of 7 after being home tutored, it was decided that Alex Smillie would move to a Special Needs School at the age of 11 as he was aware that because of his autistic traits he was different and struggled socially.

Alex thrived in the small classes at his new school and his confidence blossomed and he left 6th form and college with good qualifications.  

Due to Alex's stammer, which is heightened in stressful social situations and his autism, things such as interviews, team work and receptive comprehension became a real challenge that held him back. 

As a result, two years passed during which he failed to gain employment – this became very de-motivating for him and as his natural inclination is to be solitary it became a daily battle to get him out of the house, away from his computer and his I pad and to engage with society and become involved with activities with other people.

Alex was eventually referred to our Get into Logistics programme run in conjunction with DHL which helps unemployed young people find a job in that industry.  With support for his disability provided by staff from The Trust, Alex soon felt comfortable and took advantage of the opportunity to integrate with others and learn about the operations at DHL.  

With his confidence growing he became more independent, taking more decisions for himself and at the end of the course, he was offered a role in the operations department where he currently works.

Alex says:

If The Prince's Trust had not helped me I would not have a job. I would be playing X Box in my bedroom because that’s what I like to do. Even though I have to get up at 5 in the morning, I am happy because I finish at 2 and I am earning money and am more independent – this is because I had the help from DHL and from The Prince’s Trust.