Rebecca 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 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.
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 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..
Stuart came back for our support during the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure that all workplace changes were clear. His Employment Coordinator worked alongside his manager to ensure that Stuart understood the furlough process and that he had support if he needed it. Stuart is excited to be returning to work and getting back to his day to day role.
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.
Alan came to All in Edinburgh after volunteering for many years. He had trialled work before and felt it didn’t go well.
Alan expressed interest in various environments including hotels, kitchen environments, cafes and customer service but lacked experience in any of these. Alan also found structure difficult to follow but pursued everything that he did with enthusiasm.
Alan and his Employment Coordinator decided that a work placement could be a good way for Alan to learn about professionalism, structure and to develop experience and skills. His Employment Coordinator contacted hotels and Hilton Doubletree offered a 4-week placement to try out the Journey ambassador role which involved meeting and greeting, welcoming customers and giving information. In addition, he was also able to try the kitchen and the food and beverage section for an additional 4 weeks as he expressed an interest in trying a different area of work.
Alan found that he preferred working within the kitchen space as journey ambassador role involved a lot of different information whereas the food and beverage role was fast paced and involved a lot of customer interaction which appealed to him.
Following from this Alan had many interviews within Hotel environments and catering. His Employment Coordinator contacted local managers from a range of hotels and received a response from Leonardo Hotels. They were particularly interested In Alan’s ambition of wanting to work in the same environment as a long-term goal. Alan was offered a work trial with Leonardo Hotels as he was able to demonstrate his ability more effectively in this practical way than in an interview. Alan had support from his Employment Coordinator to prepare and attend his work trial. After his trial, he was offered a job as a Kitchen Assistant.
All in Edinburgh supported Alan and the employer on his first day and his induction. He received support to understand the paperwork and induction materials along with completing online training. Alan’s Employment Coordinator worked with the employer to arrange fixed hours, most suitable for Alan’s needs and provided ongoing confidence support to Alan.
Alan continued to have support at reviews and his manager was very happy with is development in the role. During the coronavirus pandemic, Alan received support from his Employment Coordinator again to understand the furlough process and to keep active with online groups until he could return to work. Alan is about to start back in his role and is very excited to return.
“I enjoy my work and I like my team. My managers are amazing and help me with what to do.”
Mark was referred to the All in Edinburgh project for support to find and maintain a more permanent job, having had temporary contracts in the past he wanted something that would provide him with more stability.
Mark has cerebral palsy which affects his motor speech and coordination. He uses a wheelchair so needs an accessible work place. He also requires a Personal Assistant in work to help with certain tasks like note taking, opening doors and ensuring suitable, accessible venues are booked for meetings.
Mark’s Employment Coordinator helped him to identify and apply for suitable opportunities. He wanted to use his experience in Communications & Engagement to work for the Scottish Government. He had some support with applications and preparing for his interview and Mark was successful in getting his ideal job as a Policy Officer with the Scottish Government.
Upon getting the job, Mark’s Employment Coordinator worked closely with his new employer to ensure that Mark was placed in an appropriate, accessible building, transfer his equipment there and source a Personal Assistant. All in Edinburgh also provided Disability Awareness Training to his new colleagues so they had a better understanding of Mark’s support needs. His new employer agreed to implement a flexible working schedule for Mark so that after a long time between jobs he was able to reintroduce himself to the working environment at a suitable pace to ensure that he was not overwhelmed.
Having these adjustments in place from the start of his work has made a massive difference to Mark. The flexible working policy meant that he was able to begin his work remotely before a Personal Assistant was available. Mark increased his hours gradually and is currently working full time from home due to the impact of Covid-19.
Mark has been placed in a different department to help the government respond to the ever-changing circumstances and challenges presented by Covid-19. He continues to have the support of All in Edinburgh and his employer to ensure he is thriving in this role and his reasonable adjustments are in place.
“The Support from All in Edinburgh has been invaluable to me both during my job hunt where they helped me with job applications and interview, equally important they have been there for moral support too. Now that I have returned to work their support to my colleagues and I will allow me to thrive in my new role.”