'I was a shell of the person I could be': Hayling Island care home worker grateful for job opportunity after two-year search

Admin assistant at Bryony Lodge Bridget Simmons, Bryony Lodge owner Zoe Marriott, and Leigh Slavin of the Wheatsheaf Trust
Admin assistant at Bryony Lodge Bridget Simmons, Bryony Lodge owner Zoe Marriott, and Leigh Slavin of the Wheatsheaf Trust
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A CARE home worker has expressed her gratitude after staff at a Hayling Island home saw past her disability and offered her a job.

Bridget Simmons had been searching for employment for two years with no success, despite skills from previous roles including NVQ assessor and deputy manager of a care home.

Bridget said she was constantly being overlooked in her search for employment, and she feels a disability affecting her wrists was a contributing factor to this.

After working closely with Leigh Slavin from the Wheatsheaf Trust, a Havant-based charity for jobseekers, Bridget applied for a role at Bryony Lodge in St Mary's Rd, Hayling Island.

Leigh said: ‘I have really enjoyed working with Bridget over the last year.  She has remained positive, and determined to find a job despite so many setbacks.

‘Although it is unlawful for potential employers to discriminate against those who have a disability, unfortunately it does happen.’

Although Bridget applied for a support worker role initially, she was offered an admin support role in which she could thrive despite her disability.

Zoe Marriott, owner of Bryony Lodge, said: ‘Bridget was a natural fit for the admin support role due to her extensive experience in all areas of the care sector, and also her kind and friendly nature.

‘Due to her unique set of skills, we have also been able to build on the original job role to include additional hours as an activities co-ordinator, which has benefitted our service users no end.’

Bridget has expressed her gratitude to Zoe, Leigh and registered manager Shaun Brough for seeing her as a person and appreciating her skills.

Bridget said: ‘Leigh at the Wheatsheaf Trust saw me at my worst, where I was a shell of the person I could be. She gave me encouragement every time I saw her, and made me see positive things instead of negative, which at the time must have been a hard job for her.

‘Thanks to Zoe and Shaun I am now the person I was. Just because my wrists do not work, it did not mean my brain didn’t.’