Rachel Covery and Rhona Cameron (Mitie)
24 year old Rachael Covery from Airdrie, thought she was a ‘misfit’ before finally being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome seven years ago.
With support and encouragement from Remploy, the UK’s leading provider of specialist disability employment support, she now has reason to celebrate after securing a placement in the construction industry.
“People with Asperger’s can often be misdiagnosed or are viewed as being a little bit slower than everyone else, which is what happened to me as I was only diagnosed with Asperger’s when I was 17. Having Asperger’s is normal to me now but living with it means that I sometimes don’t know what to do or say in certain situations, or how to read emotions on other people’s faces. Being diagnosed with Asperger’s really cleared things up for me; I thought I was just a misfit so I felt relieved to know this wasn’t the case.”
Rachael started her journey with Remploy by gaining the ‘Certificate of Work Readiness’ in 2015 through Skills Development Scotland. Rachael who has a HNC qualification in Administration from Coatbridge College also completed a Lloyds Bank Placement before being supported on to the ‘Think Differently’ work placement with Mitie by her advisor in the Remploy Airdrie branch.
Rachael who started her Administration work placement within Mitie’s Repairs and Maintenance in September 2016 said: “Everyone at Mitie is really friendly and patient with me. This is good as sometimes my stress levels can increase dramatically without much warning and my colleagues at Mitie have been very understanding about this.” Rachael’s duties include filing and helping with the day-to-day running of the Mitie Maintenance and Repairs office.
Mitie’s property services division secured funding from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to deliver ‘Think Differently’ under which the company provides invaluable work experience opportunities, training and mentoring for over 60 disabled candidates. This initiative will see Mitie work closely with Remploy, the UK’s leading provider of disability employment, with whom Mitie currently has an ongoing partnership.
Rachael added: “I would recommend Remploy to others like myself because Remploy are very patient and understanding. They guide you rather than tell you what to do and have also helped me to get over some of my anxiety, especially with regards to going to new places.”
Eileen McGuigan, Customer Service Coordinator for Mitie, said: “Rachael has fitted in well with the Response Maintenance Team. Her social interaction within the group and the office environment has worked well. Rachael is very enthusiastic, confident person and we’ve seen her develop socially within the group.
“The team have no previous experience of working with someone with learning difficulties so this has been a good experience for us all, as well as Rachael.”