Amaya started on the Work and Health Programme in September 2018. She is now employed at a local supermarket.
Amaya discussed her health issues with her Change Coach, and they explored mindfulness courses to help her become more confident and ready to go back into paid employment.
Amaya has rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and possibly fibromyalgia which meant she had to give up working as a chef. Amaya needed a job where she could sit when she needed to, so this meant a complete career change.
Amaya took part in a six day 'Ready 4 Work' course to help her with applying for jobs, filling in applications, mock interviews and presentation. She had her mock interview two days before her real interview at a local supermarket and felt that the course had helped prepare her.
Amaya was very excited and relieved when she was offered the job as well - as being given a renewed sense of purpose.
Amaya can now do things as she has a regular income. Money is not so much of a worry for her now, so this has removed this stress.
Amaya felt that coming to Pluss offered her emotional support. She felt that she was listened to, as well as being helped to look at different types of work that she may not have considered before. This helped her to identify the strengths and transferable skills that she already had, and then she spent time looking at any training that may be required for certain job roles.
Pluss approached a few companies and sent through Amaya's CV to see if they could secure an interview for her. In the end, Amaya applied to a local supermarket and attended the interview herself, and was offered the job!
Amaya started work towards the end of November 2018 and was very busy all over Christmas covering extra shifts. She ended up almost full-time as opposed to her contracted 21.5 hours a week.
January is a quieter month and Amaya is still happy working at the supermarket. There are plenty of opportunities to work extra hours, as and when Amaya wants to.
Amaya has received support from other members of staff, they are friendly and she always feels she can approach them should she have a problem. Amaya's line manager is very approachable too and she feels comfortable asking for help should she require it. They are also very good at ensuring Amaya takes her breaks. There is a staff canteen which provides hot cooked meals at reasonable prices, free hot and cold drinks and a 10% discount after six months of employment.
Amaya can now join a Union if she wants to and there are other staff benefits such as money off at participating restaurants. There is also a fridge and produce at work, which at the end of a shift staff can help themselves to, free of charge. Amaya now feels she has a purpose going to work, she engages with fellow workers and customers and, through being part of a team, has gained in confidence.
Amaya no longer requires any support from Pluss as she is very confident in her new role at the supermarket, but knows where to go should she need any help with work issues.
The Work and Health Programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund.