Success stories

I want you all to know that using All in Edinburgh was the most fantastic service that led to the biggest change in my son’s life. My son was diagnosed with a mental health condition when at University. All in Edinburgh was so successful at working with my son, helping when needed and even driving him to his interview when he wanted to bottle it! My son has successfully held the job you found for him at NHS since August 2016 and is now taking the next step up in his IT career with a new company in Glasgow. Thank you all so much for your help.

Karen Picken

parent of All in Edinburgh service user

Rebecca's Story

rebecca's photoRebecca was referred to All in Edinburgh through her GP Link Worker. Rebecca was working as a sales assistant for a popular make up brand on a phased return after being in hospital for a period. Rebecca found that her Mental Health had a huge impact on her work.

In Rebecca’s previous role she was working in different locations and different shift patterns constantly. This was affecting her mental wellbeing as she couldn’t plan her life sufficiently around work. The lack of routine meant that Rebecca felt like she had no stability and couldn’t engage in other activities that helped improve her mental health.

Rebecca’s All in Edinburgh Employment Coordinator met with her regularly to help identify a suitable area of work and to help with application forms. We identified that a set shift pattern and set location of work would really benefit Rebecca and recognised that these weren’t things she was getting from her current role in retail. Originally Rebecca liked the idea of becoming a support worker to help others who suffer from mental health conditions. However, when we investigated this, the working conditions didn’t suit Rebecca’s own health condition as there would be varied shift patterns that would prove too chaotic for her.

This is when we decided to consider an Administrative Modern Apprenticeship. The 9-5 Mon-Fri nature of an administrator’s role would help Rebecca to maintain positive mental health and mental wellbeing.

With All in Edinburgh’s help Rebecca gained employment and is working there happily and is consistently getting positive feedback from her managers. Rebecca now has greater control of her life and can make a routine for herself that is positive for her mental health. Also, because Rebecca is completing a Modern Apprenticeship, she will also gain a qualification in administration that will help her with her future career.

Rebecca still meets regularly with her Employment Coordinator, they work closely with her employer to make the work place mentally healthy. This has included the implementation of reasonable adjustments as well as the delivery of Disability Awareness Training from the All in Edinburgh Employment Coordinator.

Both Rebecca and her employer are happy with the support being given. Rebecca has done so well with her Modern Apprenticeship that her work has offered her a promotion which includes a 30% pay increase in the first instance. With this extra money and job stability Rebecca can move out of her parents’ home and start going on holidays with her friends regularly.

Emma's Story
Emma's photoEmma came to All in Edinburgh after talking to one of our colleagues at a drop-in session at her local Job Centre. Emma had been out of work for a while and was tired of being on benefits and wanted to get back into work desperately. When Emma met with one of All in Edinburgh’s Employment Coordinators it became clear that this was definitely achievable with some help and Emma signed up to the service.
 
Emma had been experiencing chronic back pain for quite some years as a result of an injury she sustained in work as a clinical support worker for the NHS. This means Emma is in constant pain and takes painkillers to help ease this. Emma finds it very difficult to sit or stand for long periods of time and must move regularly. Emma also finds it difficult to lift heavy items or to bend. Emma also has diabetes and needs to measure this regularly as well as eating regularly to control blood sugar levels. Initially Emma and her employment coordinator looked in to the sort of work that would be suitable.

Emma identified the care sector as an end goal. To achieve this Emma would need some volunteer experience and also to discover how many hours she would be capable of with her back pain and to build up some stamina to be able to attend work regularly. Emma’s Employment Coordinator contacted Vintage Vibes, a befriending service, and Emma started to volunteer a few hours a week with them helping to befriend their clients and to help them out around the house.

Following on from this Emma and her Employment Coordinator decided it was time to look for some part time work in addition to this to further boost her stamina and work experience. Emma was successful at obtaining a 7 hour a week job as a cleaner.
A few months after this Emma’s Employment Coordinator had managed to make a link with an Edinburgh employer who provided a home care service to the elderly and disabled.
 
Through this connection Emma attended an interview and passed with flying colours. It was at this point that we realised Emma was eligible for the Enhanced Modern Apprenticeship scheme as she was under 30. This meant that Emma would be able to work and also undergo a qualification free of charge. Her Employment Coordinator spoke to her new employer, Blackwood, about the benefits of this and they agreed to take Emma on as an apprentice. Emma started work one day before her 30th birthday!
 
Since starting her apprenticeship role Emma has been doing fantastically. Her Employment Coordinator helped to her to complete an Access to Work form which would help supply some equipment and assistive technology that would help Emma with some of the tasks that were affected by her disability. This was approved, and Emma was granted a standing desk, special shoes to help with her posture, tailored seating, and back support that she can travel with.
 
In addition to this Emma and her Employment Coordinator still meet regularly to work on Emma’s course work for her Modern Apprenticeship. With her Employment Coordinator’s help Emma has been passing each unit so far to a high standard. Emma came to the service with working in care as her end goal, and though each individual action taken, she managed to achieve this. Emma is suffering less pain now as moving around helps ease this. Emma is now earning a wage and is relieved to no longer be relying on benefits.
Emma and her Employment Coordinator will continue to work together alongside her new employer to make sure she is supported in work and completes her qualification successfully.
Stuart’s Story

Stuart came to All in Edinburgh through a referral from Scottish Autism. As well as being Autistic, Stuart is profoundly deaf, relying on British Sign Language (BSL). To facilitate meetings with him, his Employment Coordinator arranged for an interpreter from Deaf Action to assist and also arranged for meetings to be on a regular, consistent date in the same location and with the same support worker to assist with Stuart’s comprehension of BSL interpreters. 

Using a visual process, it became clear that Stuart was very enthusiastic about baking and kitchen work. Through engaging with employers that fit these characteristics, Stuart and his Employment Coordinator were able to source work experience with cake decorating and discover that this type of kitchen work would require additional experience. With this in mind, they applied for a kitchen role at Waldorf Astoria, providing written information to the employer explaining the support that could be provided to Stuart in his job.

Stuart was accompanied by his Employment Coordinator, Communication Support Worker and Interpreter to the interview, explaining to the employer beforehand that this was to facilitate optimum communication. Stuart’s Employment Coordinator arranged for a tour of the kitchen with management instead of a standard interview as this process was more suited to Stuart’s understanding of the role and enabled him to best express his knowledge. Stuart was successful at the interview and has been working at the Waldorf Astoria for over a year now. His Employment Coordinator has worked with the employer to ensure that the working environment is conducive to Stuart’s needs and that they will be confident working with him. Stuart has thrived in this role and in August 2017 was awarded Employee of the Month.

Stuart’s Employment Coordinator is still in touch with management and they are still impressed with his reliability and work ethic. They have recently expressed an interest in using Supported Employment to hire additional members of staff as it meets their need of retaining staff which is a difficulty that they have when hiring in such a large environment.

Ryan’ Story

Ryan had recently left college when he turned to the All in Edinburgh service for some support with finding a job. Ryan has a moderate learning disability and attended his first meeting with Joe, an Employment Coordinator, alongside his father. During this meeting, it was clear that Ryan was exceptionally low on confidence as he did not speak throughout the meeting and relied on his dad to communicate Ryan’s interests and barriers to employment. During the initial meeting they ascertained that Ryan’s main ambition was to be a gardener and that this was the only vocational route he would be interested in. Joe and Ryan agreed that he would benefit from doing some more volunteering in gardens whilst Joe helped him to apply for paid positions at the same time.  

Joe first supported Ryan to source and secure a work placement at the Princes St Gardens, giving him some one to one support whilst he started out as his confidence was so low and he wanted someone to help him settle into this new environment. During this period Joe also helped Ryan to send an application for a Gardening Modern Apprenticeship, which resulted in his very first interview. This was a competitive position and unfortunately Ryan missed out on the job to other candidates who demonstrated more confidence in undertaking the academic side of the apprenticeship. Joe assured Ryan that he ought not to be deterred however and that he would be stronger for the experience of having had his first interview – Ryan agreed to keep trying. Joe then helped Ryan to begin volunteering in Gorgie City Farm to go alongside his work in the Princes St Gardens in order to keep improving his gardening skills whilst they continued to apply for paid jobs.

An Assistant Gardener vacancy came up with the North Edinburgh Arts Centre and they agreed that this looked like a great fit for Ryan; it would give him the opportunity to work under an experienced gardening supervisor and learn some new skills without putting the same kind of academic pressure on him as a Modern Apprenticeship. Ryan was invited for an interview and Joe subsequently spent a preparation session with him; coming up with a list of potential questions and briefing him on what some good answers would be based on his experience. Ryan did really well to take a lot of information on-board and to challenge himself to talk about his previous experiences in more detail. Ryan’s interview fell on a day when Joe was on annual leave, so another colleague – Zoe – agreed to meet with Ryan beforehand, go through his preparation with him and then support him to the interview. Zoe did everything she could to give Ryan the best chance of succeeding and, although he had not been the first choice out of 10 candidates interviewed, the employer was so impressed that she decided to open up a second position in order to take Ryan on. This represented a massive development in Ryan’s confidence and interaction with new people and a phenomenal achievement for him personally.

Ryan went on to learn a lot of valuable new skills and even undertook a gardening qualification alongside his job in spite of having initially been unsure of taking up extra academic work.

Graeme’s Story

All in Edinburgh would like to share this case study with you! Graeme engaged with us in June 2017 after being made redundant from his previous role as a Kitchen Porter, which he had been in for 11 years. Graeme had since found that he was being invited to interviews for Kitchen Porter roles but was not getting the support he needed for the written elements, or sometimes struggled with the verbal answers and, consequently, he was not getting the opportunities.

Graeme met with his Employment Coordinator, John, and they put together an Action Plan framed around improving his interview skills and working on the best responses he could give to common Kitchen Porter interview questions when measured against his CV. In addition to this, John attended interviews with Graeme to ensure that he had all of the support he needed and to assist the employers so as to provide them with as much information as possible to accommodate for anybody with barriers to work.

As a result of this, Graeme was successful in his interview with Toby Carvery in Liberton and couldn’t wait to get going. He stated, ‘it has always been my dream to work at Toby Carvery.’ John accompanied Graeme to his first induction shifts and worked on identifying bus routes from Graeme’s house to work, which he is now able to undertake with a free bus pass that All in Edinburgh sourced for him. Toby Carvery put in place an excellent support strategy and Graeme aced his training as a consequence. He has found the support of Toby Carvery and Mitchell and Butler’s as a wider organisation to be magnificent and has made many friends, in addition to impressing everyone with his hard work ethic.

Graeme looks forward to working and spending his downtime with the regulars in his local pub, or making sure his Hearts season ticket is put to good use!

John’s Story

John Fraser was referred to All in Edinburgh towards the end of May 2017 from Community Renewal, where he had been attending regular appointments to seek assistance in his search for a job. Two Supported Employment workers from All in Edinburgh, Joe and Megan, went to meet John and his employability case worker, Craig, to discuss the service and John’s circumstances. John had worked with various employability projects before and managed to build his skills through various work placements and volunteering opportunities but was struggling with employer engagement and finding paid employment. John has learning difficulties and can find it difficult to process information and articulate himself. He requires support to read and write fluently, has low numerical skills and often struggles with time keeping. 

With some prompting and support to reflect on his skills and experiences, he is very capable of discussing his strengths, but he needs the right support around him to thrive. He needed assistance to build his CV, fill in application forms and contact employers. John also benefits from reminders of his appointments regularly as he can struggle to retain and relay that kind of information.

John had an interview lined up to be a Sales Assistant with Sports Direct when Joe first met him, but unfortunately he didn’t get past the interview stage. Having identified at their initial meetings that John’s interest and relevant working experience was in retail, Joe began to meet with John on a weekly basis to strengthen John’s applications and CV. With Joe’s support, John phoned the college he most recently attended to find out and record his most recent qualifications and put these on his CV. Joe also supported John to fill in gaps in his CV by describing his most recent volunteering experience in the Meadows Festival. After writing a covering letter and updating John’s CV, they began sending off applications for jobs in John’s local area.

Having applied for several retail positions in various stores around Edinburgh, they identified a vacancy that looked as though it would be well suited to John’s positive and sociable personality. This was a customer care assistant role with McDonalds where he would be responsible for making the customers feel welcome, handing out balloons to kids and helping to maintain a tidy dining area. After filling in the online application with Joe’s support, John was invited for an interview. Joe contacted the employer to make them aware of John’s support needs and they agreed to give him additional time in his interview to answer questions and to allow Joe to be with him. Joe and John met to do some preparation for this by discussing in detail John’s previous work experience placements and why he thought he would be a good candidate for the role. After some interview coaching, John felt very confident and performed well at his interview, being invited back for a trial shift the following day in which he demonstrated he was a great candidate for the job by working at a fast pace, being friendly towards customers and staff alike, and being diligent in performing the duties he was given.

John was subsequently offered the job to be a Customer Care Assistant beginning in August 2017 and he showed a lot of enthusiasm and a hard work ethic as he begun his first paid employment opportunity.