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Real Stories: “I have a purpose now”

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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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