When Cally was referred to COMPASS she was living with multiple conditions which affect her health and ability to work such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, ADHD and Dyslexia. Before she developed ME and chronic fatigue, Cally was working, leading a really active lifestyle and was a regular at the gym. However, as her health deteriorated, she found she could no longer continue in her job at a busy coffee shop.
She was desperate to work and wanted to find a job but felt her health was holding her back.
Cally’s Job Centre Work Coach thought it would be good to get her some support to help her move into employment and got in touch with Kylie Cooper-Jones, COMPASS Youth Employment Officer at Education Business Partnership, part of Cornwall Council.
Using the person-centred approach, Kylie worked with Cally to explore different opportunities which would meet her needs and identified Kickstart roles at Cornwall Council. The Council’s flexible working policy would enable her to work from home as her energy levels and concentration could be unpredictable and her limited mobility and chronic fatigue syndrome requires use of a wheelchair.
Cally was keen to apply for a ‘Business Support’ role in ‘Forest for Cornwall’ team which aligned with her keen interest in the environment and Carbon Neutral schemes and with support from Kylie she submitted her application. Cally was invited to an online interview and thoroughly prepared for it with some interview skills activities with Kylie.
After a successful interview, Cally was delighted to be offered the job and with further support from Kylie to get her set up in her new job role she put in an application for Access to Work to fund equipment including a smart tablet and training for software to help her with her Dyslexia. The COMPASS project helped fund the hire of a wheelchair until Cally could purchase one which enabled her to access the office more regularly.
Cally’s line manager at Cornwall Council played a supportive and pragmatic role in creating the right conditions for her and put in place reasonable adjustments with a flexible working pattern including home working, flexible breaks and days off to work around any fluctuations in Cally’s health needs.
Through her involvement in COMPASS, Cally has been able to get back into work with a flexible job role at the Council that she loves which is enabling her to build her confidence and new skills.
‘My time on COMPASS with the support of Kylie was very positive. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities presented to me, I was found the perfect working role for me’
‘I was well supported by Kylie because she always listened and validated me. I never felt judged or misunderstood and felt safe to communicate any misunderstanding’
‘Kylie gave me helpful advice, ensured I got the support I deserved, made sure I could advocate for myself and was always patient and adaptable with my needs.’
We can support you with your next steps on the COMPASS project;
Call CSW-COMPASS Project on 0800 97 55 111, or visit www.cswgroup.co.uk/compass