Severe ill health left Nicole feeling low, but Twining lifted her up!

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Nicole had faced a very difficult period in her life battling a rare cancer and the death of her father – also to cancer.  Furthermore, Nicole also endured long COVID, and all of this whilst raising her young daughter largely on her own.  This hard time led Nicole to lose confidence in finding a job, despite having always been passionate about working.  Following a referral to Twining Enterprise by her therapist, Nicole met Amina, her Employment Specialist.  Amina’s kind and continued support built Nicole’s confidence up until she secured a job in the mainstream media!  Read Nicole’s full story in her own words here…

Nicole began her story by explaining how she came to find herself in a dark place, “I was having a very difficult time in my life.  I had skin cancer and needed to go through several big surgeries.  The skin cancer was on my rib cage near the breast and the doctors needed to cut away different parts of the skin tissue every couple of days – looking for the root of the cancer.  It was a very rare type of cancer.  I then found out my dad also had cancer – so I took my daughter and saw my dad, but sadly he passed away.  I also lost two other people in my family from cancer.  I felt incredibly down.

This was all happening whilst I was alone with my daughter because my husband travels a lot, but I knew that I wanted and needed to be strong for my daughter.

One week after my father’s funeral I started a course on photography.  For the photography and my daughter I stayed strong.  I also caught long COVID and thought I was dying, but for my daughter and husband, I continued to stay strong.  It took me ages to recover from this long COVID.

During this dark period in my life I lost five people at the same time from both cancer and COVID, as well as fighting my own personal battle against both.  It did build my resilience, but it was also too much for me.  I am pleased to say that I do feel much better now, but I don’t see life in the same way now.  Life looks different now.  It changed my perspective on life.”

How did Twining help?

Nicole explained, “During this dark period, I was really struggling and recommended by my GP for a course of talking therapy.  It was during this time that my therapist recommended Twining Enterprise!  I had seen Twining myself on a poster and so I knew that they were here to help people get back into work and so I asked for help.

I had never had any problems finding a job before, but I was so down.  But by my third call with my Employment Specialist Amina, I was very happy to have someone to help me.  She helped me understand the concept of the interview and gave me confidence to go for an interview.  Amina was such a kind person and gave me confidence.  I felt like she was really on my side.  I had lost so much of my confidence and I was also worried about my English speaking skills, but she told me that my English was perfect!” said Nicole.

Nicole’s Employment Specialist, Amina Deane expanded, “For our first few sessions we spoke in French – Nicole’s first language – so we could develop our relationship and work on building Nicole’s confidence.  We soon progressed to speaking in English so Nicole could feel confident in her ability to speak the language, which would help her to grow for the upcoming interviews.

There were so many things that impressed me about Nicole – and I will never forget the huge effort she made to prepare for interviews – taking copious notes and creating a huge collage from them which mapped out what she had learnt about herself and the organisation she was interviewing for!  She was truly amazing!

Nicole was an absolute delight to connect with on so many levels and helping her came easy.  She is an incredibly worthy and admirable person.  She has such a positive mindset despite everything she has been through.  She deserved a break, and I was honoured to help.”

Nicole continued, “I had my first interview, and by the second interview my confidence was back to normal.  Every day I was working to do my homework – reading and writing and then I went for interviews, and I got a job!”

Where do you find yourself now?

Nicole concluded, “I was delighted to get a job working in the mainstream media.  I currently work in the back office getting supplies, clothes, etc.

I feel like I’m back!  Back to like I was before.  Something switched inside of me and it gave me so much confidence.  You never know what happens in life, but this has given me a new chapter in my life right now.

I would like to thank everyone at Twining Enterprise, but especially Amina, as she was such a good help for me.  I just want to tell people that everything in your life – you have to go out and fight for it!  It feels very strange that when so many dark things had happened in my life – that now only good things are coming for me.  We have an expression in France along the lines of “after the storm, the sun is coming”, and I feel like the sun is now shining down on me.”

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