“Support from the DRC is second to none; I don’t know what I would have done without the project manager and project officer”

“I really looked forward to the sessions and the social aspect of the course was also brilliant”

Towana joined the Wolverhampton Bridges 'Journey to Work' course in February 2017 after a period of sustained illness. The debilitating nature of Towana’s disabilities lead her to take early redundancy from her previous employer. Towana had held this position for 13 years and she explained that she had enjoyed her work life immensely; subsequently the redundancy had a detrimental effect on her emotional well-being and self-confidence.

Towana took this time to learn to manage her disabilities. After a period of twelve months Towana was informed of a shift in benefits and she saw this as an opportunity to return to the world of work. During an appointment with her JCP advisor Towana was referred to the JTW course. Although eager to gain employment Towana was somewhat sceptical regarding a return to work due to her ill-health and how this may affect her attendance record. After an initial chat with the project officer Towana disclosed that her long-term goal is to secure stable part-time employment and she decided that the JTW course was something she would like to embark on. 

Towana enjoyed the course immensely and after a few weeks she felt an increase in her confidence, self-esteem and motivation. Furthermore, Towana expressed the ways in which the course has provided her with invaluable information regarding what support is available to her, particularly, reasonable adjustments which are key to Towana securing and maintaining employment due to her multiple disabilities. Towana expressed how the supportive nature of the DRC’s staff has helped her plan for her employment future. 

As part of the JTW course participants receive a presentation from a ‘Work Choice’ provider which piqued Towana’s interest. The project manager discussed the possibility of Towana beginning a work placement with the DRC. After careful consideration Towana decided that this is something she would like to do. Towana has been working for the DRC on a supported business placement since 22nd May and she has found the experience extremely enjoyable. Towana feels that her experience on the course is fundamental and has aided in her ability to do her job well, she has also found it to be empowering to other JTW participants. Additionally, Towana has felt a deep-seated satisfaction in helping a participant to achieve her goals and progress on the course.

Towana has expressed that she feels better about herself and more positive about her future. In particular Towana has relished being able to give back to the DRC, a service which she feels has been invaluable to her.