An interview with Shehzaad Ali

December 1st, 2017

WECIL are committed to supporting disabled people to find and sustain work if they have the capacity to do so.

Did you know that we can offer specialist employment advice and support? Our Employment Coordinator, Alison Browning recently caught up with WECIL volunteer Shehzaad Ali. Read on to find out how WECIL's support enabled him to secure his new role as a ATE Claims Handler 

How did you first hear about WECIL Community?

I have known about WECIL and work that the centre provide for a while; I was referred to WECIL (can't remember by whom) when applying for disability living allowance and was impressed with the level of service provided by the adviser and they were incredible with boosting my morale when filling in the forms as I struggle to identify what I need and I was someone who have had a hard time accepting myself for who I am. I am grateful for this support and glad I picked up the courage to ask for it as it gave me a sense of purpose and open doors to new opportunities. More importantly it allowed me to be proud of being disabled.  

Why did you first contact WECIL Community? What did you want to achieve or what support did you require?

I had just finished studying my post graduate diploma in law, but was struggling to find work and being unemployed meant I was spending too much time at home. I was also feeling isolated and my confidence had been dropping due to lack of response from my application for jobs. I knew I needed something to keep me going, especially in terms of my CV and I decided to look into volunteering, which led me thinking about WECIL as I knew from visiting the centre website, WECIL were always looking for volunteers. So I applied to volunteer, had my interview and couple of weeks later I was helping out with delivery of IT courses for beginners. This was rich and rewarding experience as not only was I felt I was making a different in helping those in need, at the same time WECIL was a place where I saw people (both able and disabled) supporting and benefiting from each other experiences and this was valuable in developing myself as individual and becoming a better person than I was before I started. I am proud to have been a part of WECIL and it has been an inspirational journey

What support/advice did you receive and how useful did you find it?

In addition to my volunteering position, I had benefited from my time at the work club as I was given the best support available and benefited from the expertise and advice of the friendly staff and volunteers. What really made a difference was meeting Ali the Employment Coordinator for one to one support, to improve my cover letter and CV writing in order to find work. In addition, with your help, I obtained valuable advice regarding reasonable adjustments, access to work and help with interview preparation. I am grateful for this support as it helped change my mindset in not being ashamed of myself and asking for help when I need it.

Can you tell us about the role you have secured?

With the help of the employment advice provided by WECIL, I have now secured an entry-level and developmental role as a ATE Claims Handler for ARAG PLC, where I deal with low-level After the Event insurance claims. This role has a mixture of customer service and legal element, which is beneficial for building on my previous experiences. WECIL has given me hope for a better life, something I cannot express my gratitude enough for.

If you would like more information about our Employment Support then please contact Alison Browning on:

Alison Browning
Employment Coordinator
Telephone: 0117 947 9950
Mobile: 07970 468827 

Or visit our Employment Support page 



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