Some of you will be aware I have recently been attending A4E Pathways in the hope of finding work. The organisation is brilliant and is specially formed to help people like myself who have been off work for a long period of time due to illness and disability. Unlike the jobcentre and other such agencies there is no rush and they concentrate on helping you to rebuild and rehabilitate at a speed of your choice. 

I have a fantastic advisor called Nick who helps me with everything he can. When I filled in a CV template for him one thing jumped out at him. My previous experience in a care giving role. Many people have said this kind of role would be perfect for me given my temperement and the fact that I do try my best to look after and help people as much as I can, however I had always brushed the role off as I thought you needed to be qualified to do the position and I wasn't.

Nick managed to enrol me on a 4 day course which acted as an introduction to the role as a Care Assistant giving me a basic understanding of the role as well as some first aid and other experience. I really enjoyed the course and it has helped me make my mind up that the role is definately for me. The agency which ran the course were very positive and upbeat, after passing my assessments they were definate that they would be employing me and I would be given a job. However, they said they would call yesterday to discuss which home I would be going in to and they never did, I thought nothing of it but after my appointment with Nick today it has become apparent that I will not be getting a position with their company. Not through any fault of my own but because despite the agency working with Pathways and knowing all about 'permitted work' they are not willing to be flexible on contracts and can therefore only offer me one of two choices - work 16 hours rather than the 15 permitted and lose over £100 a week income for the sake of £6.25 or work on a Chameleon basis which could mean I get no shifts for weeks on end and then 2 or 3 the next week. Neither of them are possibilities for me, I need structure and a fixed contract and they new so from the start. This left me rather upset and disappointed that they had made such empty promises that they couldn't fulfill. I am led to believe this is the norm for most recruitment agencies though, so after picking myself up, dusting myself off and having a very good chat with Nick we came up with a plan of action. 

I have emailed a lecturer from Leeds City College to see if despite the course having started 3 weeks ago I can enrol on a Level 1 Diploma in Health and Social Care. He has passed my details on to Anchor homes who deal with a lot of care homes in my local area and we also went through a few other vacancies which have also been applied for. Next up is to write a covering letter and attach my CV and send it to the local residential homes in the hope that one of them is looking for staff and likes what they read. 

Several months ago this 'rejection' and let down would have set me back a hell of a lot but thanks to friends, support and a new confidence I am now a Weeble and Weebles wobble but we don't fall down.


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