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Imogen is 23 and lives at home with her mum. Fun fact she was also born on Christmas day! Imogen had to take a step away from work due to struggles with epilepsy which also left her struggling with her mental health.

Before she began working with Inspire Imogen felt that she was lacking in confidence due to her mental health struggles and she also found herself with a lack of direction in where she wanted to take her career. She also had concerns about how she would approach employers with her extra needs around her epilepsy.

Imogen then started to work with our Youth Employment Service Personal Development Coach Lisa. To start their journey Lisa helped Imogen to dive into identifying the type of work that she would like to do whilst thinking about the needs of her epilepsy. Doing this was important to Imogen as in the past she had had negative experiences with some employers when it came to the impacts of her epilepsy. This led to them both looking at the employers in and around the local area. To start with they began looking for more voluntary positions and together approached some organisations which had some positive responses. Whilst they were waiting for these organisations to respond they also had some discussions around paid employment. Together they then looked to identify low-hour positions in the area, which is when they found one at the local Co-Op. With Lisa’s help, Imogen took the jump and applied for the role.

To Imogen’s surprise she later that day received a message asking her to go for an interview the following day. She went to the interview and initially, she didn’t feel all that confident with how the interview had gone. However, she later received a phone call to tell her that she had got the position! Not only this they were also looking for her to start in the position as soon as possible. This did leave Imogen with a few concerns on how to speak to her new employers about her needs but with some extra coaching from Lisa, she was able to have some really positive conversations with the employer and has now started work in her new role as a customer services assistant doing 12 hours a week.

In her time with Inspire Imogen has said that her highlights are having developed the confidence to ask for written instructions and the ability to be able to follow the instructions. Also, gaining confidence has helped her to feel comfortable in applying for new jobs and this has led to her attending her first interview independently. Another big highlight for Imogen is the support that Lisa gave her to remind her that she is capable of more than what she thinks and having the patience to explain things in a way that Lisa knows she will understand.

When asked if she would recommend YES Imogen said: “Yes! I would recommend the programme to others. I would recommend it because it has helped me to be confident, to find a job and how to approach them about my disabilities.”

Imogen would like to thank Tim, her job coach at the DWP for referring her to Inspires Youth Employment Service and Lisa for all of her support.

Quotes from Imogen:

“Believe in yourself even when things feel impossible.”

 “ You can achieve whatever you want if you put your mind to it.”

“Never start a conversation with ‘What if’”