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Real Stories: “I have a purpose now”

Back of woman's head as she sits drinking coffee

Julie had been forced to retire due to her physical health limitations. She was eager to work but started to think it was impossible.

Julie’s story in her own words

I was medically retired from my job in the Lord Chancellors Department in 1996, when my rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis affected my work so much that I couldn’t continue. As time went on, my disability affected my mental health and I had periods of depression and developed anxiety when I tried to re-enter the workforce.

My Navigators helped me to see what work and areas of employment I could go into. I attended a CV writing course run by the Newcastle United Foundation and a Positive Psychology Course, both of which improved my self-esteem. I accessed the Moodjuice self-help website to help my depression and anxiety and to learn how to manage stress. I was supported every step of the way and felt able, at last, to see a future for myself at work.

I am now volunteering at a project which supports older people to live a full life and combats loneliness. I have completed the Connect 5 training in mental wellbeing. I am currently attending Citizens Advice one day a week to train as an advisor. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the support and understanding I have received in the past few months.

As a result of the above, I have been able to identify that the work that I want to do, as soon as I am able, is to be a Link Worker or Support Worker, helping others to overcome any difficulties they have which prevent them from getting the best out of their life. I feel I have a purpose now and that with some hard work I can achieve it.


If you’re struggling to move past your health limitations, arrange a meeting with our Navigators to explore your employment options.

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