Finding your first job can be difficult and for 38-year-old Olivia* it felt impossible.
Olivia, from Arbroath, had spent 20 years being a stay-at-home parent but was referred to the Fair Start Scotland service in February 2023 due to the financial struggles of suddenly become a single parent.
She met with her Key Worker, Shanise Mckenzie, and explained that she was apprehensive about starting work due to her own health struggles, as well as needing to care for her five children, including a child with additional support needs.
Olivia suffers from anxiety and an underactive thyroid which can impact her energy levels, so Shanise supported Olivia to establish what jobs could fit around her caring responsibilities and provide flexibility for her health problems.
Shanise organised for Olivia to attend employability development sessions where she was supported to create a CV and practise her interview skills. She also attended a session dedicated to understanding how to manage her anxiety and stress in the workplace.
Once she felt more comfortable with the thought of starting work, Olivia was introduced to one of our Employer Account Managers who work closely with a number of local employers and were able to organise an interview with a local care provider.
In May 2023, after a successful interview, Olivia successfully secured the part-time Care Worker position, with the option of additional hours if she wanted. She immediately began taking on further hours as she enjoyed the role and being able to support her family, and a few months later, she was able to apply for a full-time position with the same company.
She was successful at her interview and has now been working full-time in her new role since August 2023. Olivia continues to receive in-work support from Remploy and after expressing concerns about providing Christmas presents for all five of her children during a support meeting, our team referred her to Cash for Kids, a charity who supports children and young people affected by poverty and will help provide her with presents.
When asked about her experience with Remploy, Olivia said: “I’m really happy with the support I’ve received and love my job. It’s a relief to know that we’ll be able to have a proper Christmas this year.”
*Name anonymised at participant’s request