For almost 11 years, Sam had been out of work. She struggled to find work flexible enough to care for her neurodiverse son, and was also dealing with her own disability and mental health problems. At times, Sam’s mental health had been really bad, and she’d felt trapped at home.

Sam wanted to be a financially independent role model for her son. She kept learning at home, including practicing well-being techniques such as Reiyki. She was conscious that she needed a supportive and flexible employer, but after being knocked back in job interviews she had little confidence in finding one. After speaking to welfare rights, she was recommended to work with Groundwork’s Individual Placement’s Support team.

Building Confidence

Sam worked with IPS Employment Specialist Karin over six sessions to make a plan to get back into work. This included building her confidence, working up a CV and practicing interview techniques.

Finding the right supportive employer for Sam was essential. Karin lined up an interview with Groundwork for the role of an Employment Coach, with a focus on wellbeing. Without the means to access professional clothing alone, Working Wardrobe set her up with a capsule wardrobe, and this boosted her confidence even more. Sam was successful in her interview, and found out she had got the job in January 2024.

A rack of clothes at Working Wardrobe.

The Perfect Match

Sam absolutely loves her role as an Employment Coach, and primarily works on the Support to Succeed programme. She finds joy in helping people that are in the same position as she was, and uses her lived experience to build their trust and boost their confidence.

After six months in her role, Sam can see the results of her work even more clearly; people excelling, getting into work, and nurturing their true potential. Even though some ongoing learnings can cause Sam some anxieties, the team help her through them and she feels really supported. Groundwork have proven to be the flexible employer she really needs.

Thanks to Groundwork for giving me the opportunity, a lot wouldn’t