“I thought it was just another course, just the same as all the other JCP courses. But now look at me, I’m employed and I feel empowered to help others reach their goals!”

Naila at DRC

Naila attended an Information, Advice and Guidance session with Bridges Project Officer John Ellis in the Walsall area. Naila is 31 and has been looking for employment for over 12 months. She has experience working within an office environment, however, due to her disability and a lack of reasonable adjustments Naila had to leave her job. This had a detrimental affect on her self-confidence.

Naila feels this time in her life was not positive, she was under stress and felt very uncertain about her future. Naila disclosed her dislike at signing on and explained that she just wanted a “proper job”. Naila said she was facing difficulties in accessing employment opportunities as her disability affects her ability to travel. She said she felt her knowledge was limited concerning the services available to her.

After discussion with the Project Officer, although sceptical at what the course could do for her, Naila agreed to attend. Naila told John that she needed flexibility around the course start time and he assured her that this would not be a problem. The course helps participants improve work readiness and provides them with the opportunities to meet prospective employers. Naila said staff are considerate and work with the groups’ needs, she explained how the course dynamics made her feel at ease and described it as a place she wanted to be. Naila completed the course and feels that the Bridges programme has been of immense benefit to her.

Naila has now secured part-time employment with the Disability Resource Centre. Naila explains how her personal circumstances have changed for the better, and that her wellbeing, health and self-confidence have all improved. Naila now enjoys working and socialising with colleagues and explains how she feels much more positive about her future.