Thera East Anglia’s supported employment programme aims to find enriching and meaningful employment opportunities across all sectors for people with a learning disability that have been recognised as ready to work. Our three Job Coaches – Terri, Rick and Eloise, are extremely dedicated and passionate about helping individuals build on their social network and transferable skills to ensure they can be a valued member of any working team. Here, we want to offer a spotlight feature for trail-blazing job seekers who have successfully landed work through the programme.
As an assistant at Addenbrookes Hospital, Donna has truly found herself at the heart of a rewarding and prosperous career. Having caught meningitis in 2013, she wound up on a ventilator in the intensive care unit at that very hospital, meaning her path to working within this field held an extremely poignant backstory
“I nearly died. But it made me realise that I wanted a job where I could give something back to the doctors and nurses who really helped me and be in a role where I can contribute back to society.”
It was with the help of Terri Dumont at Thera East Anglia that Donna was able to climb the first rungs of the employment ladder in 2019.
“Terri helped me to create and write up a CV, and she came to the interviews with me which was really helpful for moral support.
I wasn’t sure if I answered the questions well enough and there were a lot of other people there, but then a week later they emailed me and offered me a volunteer post. It made me feel really good and I was so excited to start”.
Having asked whether Donna was nervous for her first day, she laughed, “I was a bit, yeah! I had a mentor show me what to do though and I was really happy and eager to learn”. The hospital was also able to accommodate a member of Thera staff to support Donna until she was able to find her feet.
Donna had the important task of collecting wheelchairs around the site and ensuring they were stored away safely. “I also helped to give visitors directions as the hospital is so big!” With such a valuable position within the hospital, I asked Donna what about the role she enjoyed the most – “I loved it all. I liked meeting new people and being productive. I really enjoyed making friendships and it made me feel good to help other people”.
Unfortunately, the pandemic breakout in March 2020 has meant that Donna has been unable to continue with her role due to working in such a high-risk environment,
“I’ve now been off work for a year and a half due to the lockdown. They do call me once a month to check in, as they know I am really eager to go back in once it is safe to do so”.
So, what are Donna’s big plans for the future? “I hope one day I could perhaps get a job as a Porter at Addenbrookes, or in a role where I can work alongside patients properly. I am really looking forward to a new challenge.”
We are right there with you Donna!
If you would like to find out more about how Thera East Anglia can support you to get a job, please contact us and a member of our friendly team will be able to help you!
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