AJ's story

“Coming here I was able to get out of my shell.”

I’ve been coming to Longlands about a year through a referral from an education health team. 

When I was young I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and I’ve also got Asperger’s.    I try to deal with it, but a lot of the time I can’t really control myself, and I end up hurting myself as a way to get rid of all that energy.  It’s sort of like a release.  Usually when I have panic attacks I can get angry and a bit violent, but I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone so I always take it out on myself. 

I missed practically the whole of high school really.    It wasn’t like as if I didn’t want to be there:  I physically and mentally couldn’t cope in the environment.    Academically I’m fine, I’m good at maths.

Longlands has helped boost my confidence in myself.  Before, I would be like a turtle.  You know how a turtle hides behind its shell? I would always hide with my hood up and tied really tight and be really quiet.  Coming here I was able to get out of my shell.

I started here the same week Matt did.   And my maths is better than his is!  You have to be accurate down to thousandths.  It started off with doing gates for the cattle shed, and then we’ve started on cattle grids to go in the entrance.  And in the roundhouse, build the stainless steel counter tops, I’ve helped with them.  They’ve turned out really good.  And the sink unit.  I’ve learnt a lot of new skills which I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t come here.

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Longlands has helped me 100%.  I say this all the time.  If I hadn’t have come here, it’s very likely I wouldn’t be able to have started at college. Come and try Longlands.  I’ve never experienced anything else like it.  You’ve just got to try it.