A Sheffield jobseeker who feared her health condition might ruin her chances of having a fulfilling career, is celebrating landing her first job.
Melanie Vernon, 22, from the Norton area of Sheffield, has Narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that causes her to fall asleep at any time. Although her condition can be successfully managed, she believes it was the reason why employers kept rejecting her job applications in the two years since she left full-time education.
“I’m normally a very bubbly person but I must admit I was finding it increasingly difficult to remain upbeat having been unemployed for so long,” she said.
However, Melanie’s life was turned around when she was referred to Remploy's branch in Sheffield for specialist support with her job searching, including help creating a CV that highlighted her skills.
Chris Marshall, a Remploy employment advisor at the Campo Lane branch, worked with Melanie to restore her confidence. “She needed one-to-one support to rebuild her self-esteem and get her in the best possible frame of mind, which is so important when you are looking for a job,” said Chris.
The support paid off when Melanie successfully applied for a vacancy as a customer service assistant at Sainsbury’s Local store in Greystones, Sheffield. “I love my new job and really enjoy helping customers,” said Melanie, who has twice scored 100 per cent in mystery shopper surveys and is popular with customers and colleagues.
Even though she has made a flying start in her new role, Melanie continues to receive support from Remploy. “We work with her and Sainsbury’s and have developed a plan that helps Melanie manage her health condition at work,” added Chris. “Melanie’s manager has been brilliant, putting in place some minor but important workplace adjustments that have made a very big difference for Melanie.
“It’s great to see her getting on so well. The fact that she scored top marks in two mystery shopper surveys is no mystery to me. It’s simply a reflection of her determination to succeed.”
Ian Hunt, Sainsbury’s manager at the Greystones store said: “We are very pleased with Melanie’s work. She has shown flexibility, is full of enthusiasm and is an asset to the team.”
“Remploy helped me regain my confidence and gave me back my ambition,” said Melanie. “Chris helped me recognise my potential and never gave up on me. I can’t thank him and Remploy enough.”
Nationally, Remploy’s successful partnership with Sainsbury’s has found jobs for more than 2,500 disabled and disadvantaged people who were facing barriers to employment.
Picture caption: Melanie Vernon
For further information and interview requests, please contact Remploy press office: 0300 456 8121
Notes to Editors:
- In the last four years Remploy has found more than 50,000 jobs in mainstream employment for people with a range of physical, sensory and mental disabilities and other disadvantages.
- Remploy is driven by the fundamental belief that every disabled person can, with appropriate support and specialist advice, secure sustainable employment
- Remploy has an increasing focus on providing specialist disability employment services to people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities
- It continues to invest in developing innovative approaches and services for employers which are cost effective and business efficient including consultancy and vocational rehabilitation services
- Remploy partners with more than 2,500 of the country's biggest employers including BT, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury's the NHS and Marks & Spencer
- It operates a national network of more than 60 town and city centre recruitment branches and offices providing specialist recruitment and development services to job seekers