Dunbar woman Rhona Coffey has thanked the team of employment experts after they helped her get back to work after three years.
Rhona, 50, had never been out of work before suffering health problems and said being out of work was ‘awful’.
Following decades of work being a carer for her mum, working as a cook and as a hotel housekeeper, Rhona had to step away from the labour market due to sciatica in her back. But once ready to return, she wasn’t getting anywhere.
But her luck started to change when she was referred by Jobcentre Plus to the Fair Start Scotland service, delivered by Triage on behalf of StartScotland.
She said: “I was unemployed for three years, but for two of those I couldn’t work due to the sciatica in my back. In my last year, I really struggled to find work.
“I talked to my job coach, who referred me to the Fair Start Scotland service. I made an appointment and met my new advisor in a coffee shop. I signed up there and then and it’s been brilliant.
“They helped me with my digital skills, updated my CV and showed me how and where to look for jobs.
“Within two or three months, I had three interviews. Before that, I hadn’t had any. And these were jobs that I actually wanted to do. They weren’t just any old jobs. It was amazing.”
Triage supported Rhona to increase her confidence, helped her realise how many transferrable skills she had and prepared her for interviews.
Rhona is now back working in a sector she loves, working as a Personal Assistant for Enable Scotland, supporting people with disabilities across East Lothian.
Rhona added: “I love my job. It’s all about supporting people. It’s fantastic.”
Triage key worker Lisa Howe said: “I really enjoyed supporting Rhona into work and I’ve seen an amazing change in her self-esteem over the last few months. She’s such a bubbly and positive human being and so she is perfect for the role she is doing. I am so proud to have been part of her journey.”