Coronavirus: information and updates

We all need to share stories of hope right now: here’s Katie’s.

My name is Katie and I wanted to share my message of hope with you:

Despite everything that stands in the way, I feel sure of myself and confident that I will be able to continue doing what I love.

It’s been a long road to get here, with the help of Scope’s employment services.

I love helping people. That’s why I always wanted to work in retail. It’s all about helping people find what they need.

You know and I know that I can still do that, I can still provide great customer service, as a disabled person. But sadly, my previous employer thought differently.

I have a hearing impairment and I’m physically disabled, so I use crutches and sometimes, on difficult days, I use a wheelchair. None of that stops me helping customers, of course. But I do need some support from my employers.

In my previous job, that support wasn’t there. For us to communicate with the storeroom, they switched us to new headsets, which weren’t compatible with my hearing aid. I asked to have a different headset, or to move to a different role, but my employer refused. 

They told me to deal with it or go, so I had no choice but to leave. As you can imagine, that really hit my confidence and self esteem.

I had worked in retail for years, but despite all my experience and all the great feedback from customers, I was seen as expendable, just for being disabled.

I lost a lot of hope then. There was no way that I could find another job, I thought, and even if I did, it would just be on the lowest rung of the ladder.

But then I got in touch with Scope’s employment services. My advisor, Isaac, was brilliant. He treated me like a human being and he encouraged me to push myself and aim high.

I applied for an assistant manager role in a shop. Scope supported me with strengthening my CV and preparing for the interview and it all worked, because I landed the job.

I’ll never forget that call. My new manager said: ‘With your bubbly nature, you’ll fit in brilliantly.’ She focused on my personality and skills, not my conditions. She made me feel they’d employed me for me.

I was really thriving at the shop, helping customers and managing staff, doing more than I ever thought was possible. Then coronavirus came along. It’s all very uncertain at the moment, as anyone who works in retail will tell you - but Scope has given me hope for the future.

We all need a little hope after the past year – so I’d love to know what’s giving you hope right now, too. Will you share my story and your own message of hope on social media?

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