Megan started having seizures and migraines aged 14. Her health issues resulted in long term absenteeism from school, and a diagnosis of Epilepsy. She joined Wealden Works in July 2019.
“I now have a job I love, with a fantastic career future, all within just 6 weeks of joining Wealden Works. I honestly thought that I would be sitting on the benefit ladder for the rest of my life. Wealden Works gave me the skills and confidence to achieve something that I never thought possible. Besides helping me to find a career, they have really helped with my mental wellbeing. They made me remember who I was before the epilepsy, a person I thought I had lost completely, and realise that I live with epilepsy, I am not epilepsy.”
Megan had to study from home gaining 8 GCSE’s all ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades. However, due to her illness she lacked the confidence to apply for work.
When her seizures had improved she decided to volunteer rather than apply for jobs, thinking she would be a burden on employers. She struggled to cope ‘the epilepsy and migraines make you feel exhausted, but I was determined to find normality’.
She successfully volunteered as a SEN support assistant for 6 months. Gaining her Teaching Assistant Level 3 qualification with distinction, she loved being a support assistant, but was unable to find paid work in this field.
Joining Wealden Works in July 2019, now aged 21, her epilepsy was better controlled, although she still had tonic-clonic seizures , absence seizures and ongoing migraines.
She still believed her epilepsy was a barrier for employment, and people were uncomfortable in her presence.. With all that in her head, it was no surprise she originally had no self-confidence.
“Wealden Works made me realise that everything I had been through, and the way I had dealt with it, was a positive thing, and I should be proud of my achievements.”
After just one week of 1-1 mentoring, we arranged work experience in the offices of a local Conveyancing company. They were aware of her medical condition and were very understanding on completion of her time there they said: if a job had been available we would have offered her a position. However they employed her whenever they needed cover for holidays and sickness.
She now felt that this was the career route she wanted to follow and applied for a Trainee Legal Secretary position. Her new employability skills, previous work experience but more importantly the belief in herself, gained her an interview and…. she was offered the job.
The Director of the company had suffered with epilepsy herself at an early age and fully understood the barriers a medical condition can have on getting work. She reassured Megan that staff would be trained and prepared to respond to any eventualities.