I discovered the Employment Support Service in May 2009 when attending Headway House, a daycentre for people with brain injuries. I'd suffered a heart attack and stroke in 2006, lost my job, but now wanted to try and get back to the world of work. My own attempts to find suitable part-time work came to nothing due to my medical history. Headway put me in contact with the Supported Employment Service.
On meeting my designated support worker Marie, we discussed my limitations, interests, and previous work experience. She explained the concerns my health would raise for employers and that on finding a job, I would be registered under the Department of Work and Pensions Permitted Work scheme. She would act as a liaison officer with my employer to find a job and working environment tailored to suit my needs. Marie researched potential options and I did my bit by writing to various businesses.
In June 2009, I found an opening as a storeman's assistant at the Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries. It seemed ideal, the hotel was supportive, and Marie met the Manager to draw up a contract regarding my pay and hours, explain my limitations, and ensure that I would have adequate supervision. Marie would also visit me regularly to monitor my progress. Marie also completed all the necessary paperwork for the DWP.
I really appreciated the Employment Support Service "being there" for me. Doors to future possibilities seemed closed to me, leaving me feeling vulnerable and discouraged. My work at the hotel is good for me. I recognise my limitations better. I still have occasional "bad days" but I've learned how to manage them, and develop "coping strategies" to compensate. I love the social contact, have become fitter, gained more confidence as I have taken more responsibility. And I'm doing my part to "make ends meet"!
"Richard is pictured on the left with Derek his Manager"
Our Service Users busy at work
Pictured below is a selection of our Service Users working in different places of employment":
Stacey working at the Semi-Chem shop
James working at Queen of the South football ground
Ross working at Tony's Valeting Service
Faye working at the Chest, Heart & Stroke charity shop
Manny (pictured on the right) at his work placement at Houston's Coaches in Lockerbie
Elaine busy working at Irving Bakeries in Castle Douglas
Lorraine busy working at Kelloholm Co-op
Johnny working at Lines Distribution Services Ltd., Dumfries
Work Preparation Course Success
Pictured below are photos of our service users receiving their certificates from Clare Clanachan, the Manager of the Supported Employment Service:
Service Users complete a Pre-Employment Course at Newton Stewart. Pictured below are Rosemarie , Euan, Gavin, Christian, Robert along with Tom and Rachel from the Supported Employment Service who delivered the course.
Keeping safe in the workplace
Pictured below are some of our service users who successfully completed Fire Safety modules which was part of the Supported Employment Service Adult Literacy and Numeracy programme which is delivered in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service.