"I can be myself" - Layla's Story

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Layla joined the Work and Health Programme due to a health condition. She now has a job as a Service User Involvement Co-ordinator. This is her story in her own words…

“I have young onset Parkinson's disease. It affected my life and without medication, I have difficulty walking and many other symptoms. Young-onset Parkinson's disease affects people in different ways and there are 40+ symptoms ranging from trauma, muscle tension and fatigue.

“Before coming to Maximus I was feeling very depressed and worthless. I wanted to get back to work, but the work I am qualified to do was full-on and burnt me out. I didn't know what to do and kept looking for part-time jobs.

"My Change Coach at Maximus has been amazing, instead of having me find a job that has loads of pressure, he nurtured me into thinking about what I would like to do. I started thinking I wanted to work in a charity organisation and thinking of the skills that I would be able to transfer to different jobs within the charity industry. This really opened up my mind.

“I am now working part-time in London for Parkinson's UK as a Service User Involvement Co-ordinator. I can be myself and do a meaningful job that helps people to be more aware of Parkinson's disease.

“Maximus has changed my life and the fantastic support from the team has been amazing. I felt so happy when I got the job, and my teenage son is also very proud of me going back to work and doing something that's fulfilling. I can't thank Maximus enough for all the encouragement, coaching and the help I have been given.”

The Work and Health Programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund.