Hayley overcomes anxiety to secure NHS role

"When I first started I was very anxious about it all but as soon as I got there everyone was so friendly and helpful." – Hayley Rooks, Dorset customer.

Why Hayley joined the Links to Work programme 

Hayley was struggling to sustain employment due to suffering badly from anxiety. Her anxiety could be so severe at times she was unable to be at home without her parents there. 

Despite her mental health issues Hayley was determined to find a suitable job. She'd had a number of previous roles but wanted to work with children, she enlisted the support of the Links to Work programme to make sure this happened. 

How Links to Work helped 

We assigned Hayley a personal consultant just as we do with all customers who join the Links to Work programme. Her consultant, Vicky, worked hard to develop a good relationship with Hayley, building her trust so that she could open up about her aspirations and her issues. Getting to know Hayley meant that Vicky could design a package of support tailored to Hayley's individual circumstances. 

Vicky recognised that Hayley would benefit from the support of our in-house health adviser. Bernadette's a qualified health professional with plenty of experience in helping people overcome their health barriers to work. Hayley worked with Bernadette to develop tactics to manager her anxiety and as her confidence grew she started attending our group Health and Wellbeing workshops. The group workshops are designed to help our customers understand their barriers to employment and provide strategies for better managing them.

Together, Hayley and Vicky completed a skills health check which identified that Hayley would fit well into a medicine and nursing related role. Hayley agreed this would be suitable but still wanted to combine this with working with children. 

Vicky supported Hayley to create a properly formatted CV and adapt it for roles related to the above. Together they identified a number of suitable vacancies and Vicky helped Hayley to complete applications to the best of her ability. Hayley often felt unqualifed for jobs but Vicky shower her how her skills and personality traits meant she could meet the requirements of job specifications. 

Hayley said: "Working with Vicky was great. She has been very supportive and encouraging, helping me to improve my application and interview skills."

Getting the job

Several of Hayley's applications led to interview invites. She continued to work with Vicky who organised a series of one-to-one and panel mock interviews. This gave Hayley the chance to practise answering a range of typical interview questions and got her used to the subtle differences between being interviewed by one person and multiple people. 

Armed with improved interview skills and an ability to better manage her anxiety, Hayley was able to confidently attend interview. She was successful at a few and accepted a position as healthcare support worker at the Children's Centre, Dorset County Hospital. 

Vicky said: "When I compare how Hayley presented when she first joined the programme to now, it is clear how much her confidence has improved. She's now able to manage her anxiety in a better way so she can do much more with her life, including simple pleasures like socialising." 

Hayley is going from strength to strength in work, she's enjoying working with children and looking forward to developing her skills with the NHS. 

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