Thrive into Work is a health and wellbeing service, delivered by Shaw Trust in the West Midlands. It provides dedicated one to one support, working at the pace of the participant, supporting them with their mental and physical wellbeing, as well as helping to find and sustain employment that the individual will enjoy and feel comfortable in. Our Thrive into Work team is passionate about helping people grow, rekindle that sense of purpose and do the work that makes their heart sing. Rachel is one of those people the team has helped.
“Almost five years after developing the long-term health condition, chronic fatigue syndrome, I have started my first ever proper job. I am tearing up at the sentence alone so you can imagine the state I was in after logging off after my first week! Throughout my recovery, I never thought I would be in this situation, where I was both still suffering from my illness and yet working. I imagined I’d either have a miraculous full recovery and go about life as healthy people do, or I’d never be able to work.
However, through a steady year of improvements, focusing on independence and getting into the workplace, paired with the expert knowledge and skills of the wonderful Katherine Brown, I have done the unimaginable. And I’m not working in the first mundane job we could find that is of little interest to me, oh no, I am in a role that will enable me to help others with their own recovery, with colleagues who seem to genuinely want the best for me, and all in a way that takes into account my needs with reasonable adjustments, the opportunity for growth, and in a flexible manner.
Recovery is an emotional process, and it’s often filled with sadness and anger at the frustrations of wanting more from yourself than you’re able to do, so it is an incredible moment to be so overwhelmingly happy and proud of what one has accomplished. I am already imagining how much more I will be capable of, how much further I can grow and what amazing things I will be doing in the future. The help and guidance of Katherine, with weekly sessions discussing how to manage difficult topics of health, planning a slow increase of hours, and finding the balance on professional behaviour in the workplace has been paramount to me getting here and I’m so grateful!”
Katherine, Rachel’s Employment Specialist says: “I’m not exaggerating when I say a session with Rachel brightens my day. Our role is to walk alongside our participants and support where necessary. In return, we are given a privileged insight into someone’s world and an opportunity to learn too – I am grateful to Rachel for everything they have taught me so far and can’t wait to watch them progress and shine even more.”