Lataya uses her lived-experience to help others

I was having my doubts  but with the help of my Employment Specialist  I ve been a NHS peer support worker for over 5 months

When I met Lily, I had already had a career break of about 1 year. I am a psychology graduate and at the time I was looking for a role where I could support people based on my skills and education. I had been a support worker with Women’s Refuge and L&Q before I became unwell. However, I had take sick leave. Later I was dismissed due to being off-sick for a long period of time.

I was referred to Twining Enterprise by my care coordinator, and first met Lily in November after her colleague left the service and she took over. We worked on my CV, we looked for jobs together, Lily supported me with applying for different roles. When my application was accepted, she referred me to Smart Works for interview support, as well as doing interview preparation with me herself and sending me appropriate resources.

She also took part in my network clinical meetings encouraging me before and after I received a job offer at the end of January 2020. However, the recruitment process took a long time and I started the job only on 28th May.

Prior to that I was feeling rather low because I was worried they might not accept me and the waiting process made me feel dispirited.

Lily kept in contact with me throughout. She encouraged me and sent me wellbeing resources all the while being in contact with the clinical team and attending my network meetings with myself and my mother.

I started the job with West London NHS Trust as a Peer Support Worker for the Adult Mental Health Service on 28th May. I felt apprehensive that I may not rise to expectations and will be judged having disclosed my mental health issues.

Yet, my colleagues and managers appreciate me. They are very understanding of the situation and I am now in charge of a caseload of mental health clients (5 clients) who also appreciate and are grateful for my service.

I was still having doubts about how I was delivering the service, so Lily reached out once again, after speaking to my care coordinator. We have been in contact by phone and WhatsApp texts and she has continued to support me in this role, sending me encouraging texts and wellbeing services leaflets and resources.

With Lily's help, I am still in the job after 5 months. I feel supported and grateful to everyone I have worked with within EIS Haringey clinical team and Twining Enterprise. I still keep in contact with Lily.

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