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Kate’s story

September 29th, 2017

Kate’s Story

We are delighted to announce that one of our WECIL volunteers has just accepted a job with Bristol City Council. Find out how WECIL helped Kate boost her confidence and supported her to get back into work.

After almost three and a half years out of work Kate was struggling to find the confidence to find a new job. As a single mother on income support the prospect of finding work was daunting. Kate had also been diagnosed with Dyspraxia which further added to her anxiety.

Kate was excited to see a volunteer position advertised with WECIL but was too nervous to apply for it. The deadline of the post passed, but encouraged by her friends Kate decided to call WECIL to see if there was still a chance that she could volunteer and gain work experience and confidence.

Kate said ‘The WECIL staff were very welcoming, helpful and what struck me most was how non-judgmental they were’

Kate volunteered for one day a week between May and August, learning new computer skills, gaining confidence in an office environment and adapting to being in the work place. Kate was volunteering on our disabled people’s advice line answering calls, recording information on our database and ringing clients back who had left us messages. Support of the staff meant that she was able to gain the skills and confidence she needed to be a part of a team again.

‘I was able to actually walk into a room of people and the experience helped me to get back into a routine again.’

‘Mike was really amenable and he really helped me with my computer skills. The staff were all so friendly which boosted my confidence.’

Kate saw the post for a Social Care practitioner advertised with Bristol City Council, with her new found confidence from WECIL she applied for the role and was invited to interview. Although the interview nerves crept in, Kate overcame them and was offered the job following the interview process.

Many parents returning to work may know that a large gap in employment can lead to a long chase for references. Kate was able to find her previous employer where she worked for five years before going on maternity leave. This meant she was left with the task of tracking down a reference from over eight years ago.  

After a long chase Kate was worried that she may not be able to start her new job. A second reference was required so in a state on panic she contacted WECIL’s volunteer coordinator Duncan. Duncan was able to provide a glowing reference for all of the work that Kate had done for WECIL and within two days of receiving it, Kate was finally able to start her new job as a Social Care Practitioner.

The final thanks from Kate goes to Julie Loxley who provided advice and guidance about reasonable adjustments and disclosure of her dyspraxia in her new role. Julie supported Kate by drafting a letter for the employer which Kate had never previously had the confidence to do.

Kate is now working alongside social workers and occupational therapists to ensure that disabled people are receiving the right care and support that they need.

WECIL are dedicated to creating an inclusive society and strive to ensure disabled people have a voice. If you would like help or advice about getting back into work then please contact WECIL on employability@wecil.co.uk or phone 0117 947 9911. 

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A few photos from our big Christmas Peer Support event yesterday, we had 100 members from our community come together for a big lunch at @ZaZaBazaar https://t.co/QWt67aF6d3 WECILBristol photo
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