Maxine – Progressing as a Disability Support Worker

Maxine is a mature woman with short curly hair and a warm smile. She wears safety glasses and is showing a trainee with down syndrome something on am electronic tablet.61-year-old Maxine from South Tyneside was referred to Making a Difference by a local health programme. She had expressed an interest in more intensive support with getting back to work.

She had already spent more than twenty years working in disability support as a Level 3 Qualified SEN Teaching Assistant, focusing on Food Technology and Art. However, Maxine also wanted a change of direction after leaving her previous role and was unsure of the opportunities out there for her.

How Did We Help?

Maxine met with Jessica, an Employment Coach for Making a Difference. Upon meeting, they recapped Maxine’s career journey and discovered she had an interest in roles with more fixed hours.

Maxine felt she wanted to move on from working long hours and taking work home with her as she had done in her previous role. Jessica agreed that this change would allow her more freedom to work more sociable hours.

Moreover, Maxine felt a little rusty applying for jobs and was unsure of where to start. She also expressed feeling overlooked by employers because of her age.

Having expert knowledge about the job market Jessica reassured her, emphasising that being a mature job seeker also comes with advantages. For example, extensive experience and knowledge that can be shared among co-workers.

Job sites like Rest Less, for example, that cater specifically to over 50s can be a great start to getting back into work, providing resources around job searching, health, and wellbeing.

Finding Opportunities as a Disability Support Worker

Maxine used the CV she updated with Jessica’s to apply for jobs online. Soon after, an organisation called Flexible Options contacted her about one of their vacancies. The organisation provides disability support to adults to help them achieve their goals and was actively looking for a new Support Worker.

Maxine received an invitation to an online interview – her first one ever – and she prepared for it in her next one-to-one session with Jessica. This made her feel more relaxed while entering unchartered territory.

Armed with new-found confidence and motivation, Maxine attended the virtual interview. There, she demonstrated her knowledge and experience of working with people with learning disabilities.

Shortly after, Maxine learned that she had been successful at her interview and got the job!

Employment Coach Jessica is delighted with her progress. She says:

“Maxine came to the programme with concerns that she would not gain employment again after being in her previous job for a long time. She has been a pleasure to work with and my hope is that Maxine moves forward into her new role with the knowledge that Experience Matters. She has a lot to offer any workplace.”

Maxine herself is over the moon with the news and with the support she received from Jessica. She says:

“Thank you for all your support, I could not have done this without you. It was a daunting experience walking into the job centre for the first time, but you were patient and very, very kind.”

Career Guidance To Get You Where You Want To Be

Making a Difference is an initiative match-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). We help people of all ages find their way into work or training by providing tailored one-to-one guidance and support. Whether you are returning to work after a career break, considering working for the first time or simply want to try something new. We can help you figure out the next step for you.

Contact our friendly team to learn more and start your journey today!

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