"I feel listened to" - Roman's Story

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Roman joined the Work and Health Programme in February 2019. He now has a job as a sheet metal worker.

Roman, 50, from High Wycombe, ironed out an exciting role as a Sheet Metal Operative with Glenmore Hanes in Slough. Previously, Roman had worked as a Brake Press Operator for over
25 years with one company.

The job is a tremendous result for Roman as he is profoundly deaf and uses British Sign Language (BSL) as his first language. He was referred, by his Jobcentre Plus Work Coach, onto the Department for Work and Pensions / European Social Fund funded Work and Health Programme, and worked closely with his Change Coach at Kennedy Scott.

His Change Coach, Amarjit, immediately arranged for a BSL translator for his sessions and they went about creating a new CV which reflected Roman's extensive work history and incredible
skill set.

Having an interpreter led to Roman feeling comfortable in the sessions. "I really value the fact you have arranged this for me. I feel listened to and can truly convey how I feel and what work I would like to do, so thank you Amarjit”.

His Change Coach was really impressed by Roman's work ethic. "He is passionate about what he can do, is diligent, eager and an all-around great guy".

As Roman had been with one company for so many years he did not have experience using online job searches. His Change Coach set up new accounts with the major job sites and also a new email account. He used Kennedy Scott as his main point of contact and supported Roman in his job searching, and handled all telephone enquiries on his behalf.

When an enquiry about Roman emerged his Change Coach began preparing him for an interview. Roman took feedback fantastically well and applied it on the day - no mean feat when it's your first interview for over 26 years!

The employer, Glenmore Hanes, had never employed someone with Roman's barriers before. Despite this, they thought he would be a good candidate for the job. However, they needed some help and reassurance that they would be able to provide Roman with a suitable work environment.

Roman’s Change Coach explained to them about Access to Work, which is a programme designed to help employers make reasonable adjustments that a disabled person may need in order to do their job. This eased their fears and they arranged for a two-day work trial to see if they were a good fit. The trial was a triumph and Roman started work in April 2019 - exactly two months after walking through Kennedy Scott's doors.

Access to Work now help Roman out in his travel to work and also arrange for a sign language interpreter to be present on pre-arranged days. As part of Roman's ongoing
in-work support, his Change Coach has arranged regular meetings between all parties and the interpreter, ensuring Roman is receiving all the support he needs to sustain employment and that he is as comfortable as possible in work.

Roman really appreciated his Change Coach’s conscientious and warm approach. He told him, "Amarjit, remember this, kindness is a language deaf people can hear and blind people can see". 

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