Young autistic man’s struggle finding a job in Eastbourne

Nathan Thorpe and his mum Karen at their home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Nathan Thorpe and his mum Karen at their home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

A young autistic man from Eastbourne has spoken out about his struggle finding a job.

Nathan Thorpe dreams of being a gardener and has been applying and looking for jobs since last summer – but has had no luck.

The 24-year-old, who studied horticulture for four years at Plumpton College, believes that because of his condition employers do not seem to be interested in taking him on.

He said, “No one seems to be giving me a chance. I’ve done trial days, application after application, it comes back saying, ‘sorry you have been unsuccessful’. I have tried everything, I have been on courses to get back into work.

“Because I’m autistic people don’t seem to want to give me the chance. I’m just fed up, I don’t seem to be getting any luck.”

Nathan, who lives in Hodcombe Close, Shinewater, said, “My dream job would be gardening, because that’s what I went to Plumpton College for four years for.

“I also have experience in warehouse work and as a kitchen assistant.”

Nathan’s mother Karen Pain said it has been a difficult process since last July. She said, “It’s mentally draining. It’s like going around in circles, he can’t seem to get any help whatsoever.

“He wants to start to be independent and earn some money like any other person. He keeps getting sent on different courses. He’s got lots of certificates.”

She said Nathan had been due to start a work experience placement but has not heard anything despite chasing it up a number of times.

Karen said, “When you say someone’s autistic they don’t want to know. It’s very disheartening for him.”

She said Nathan has been having a hard time since he lost his father last year.

Karen went on, “He’s had it very hard from when he was born, he’s had eight operations, nearly died when he was a baby. We have all had it hard.

“I just want him to have a break and do what he loves. He loves to be outdoors. It takes one nice person to give him that chance, that’s all he wants.

“He’s got a lovely nature and a lovely heart. He’ll work very hard, always be on time and work his absolute best.”

If you would like to give Nathan an opportunity to find work, send his mother Karen an email on kmbreeze@hotmail.com or get in touch with the Herald.