Becky, receptionist at Golden Lane Housing and Mencap tells her story about finding work.
“Leaving college at 21 was scary, I’d been in my comfort zone and didn’t know what to expect. I really wanted a job caring for people and to help them achieve things. All my life, my family and friends have helped me and it was my turn to give something back.
No one gives you a rule book about what it’s like to have a learning disability, and I’ve got epilepsy too – this has never stopped me from achieving. I’ve learnt how to deal with things as I’ve grown up. Now there is more information about learning disabilities which has helped to raise awareness.
I was determined to find work and earn my own money so I could look after myself instead of people looking after me.
Getting a job was hard. After going for many interviews, I got a job over the Christmas period but this soon came to an end. It was the job centre who put me in touch with Mencap. They taught me interview skills and how to write a CV which is important when looking for work.
Around the same time, I met my boyfriend Liam on a dating site, he’s also got a learning disability. He loves me and sees me on the inside, it really opened my eyes. After quite a while we started talking about sharing a place together, so I wanted to find work more than ever and start saving.
An opportunity came up as a part-time receptionist at Golden Lane Housing and Mencap’s office in Manchester. I got it, I can’t tell you how happy I was, it was exactly what I was looking for!
Learning new skills and going on training courses has also given me more confidence. Now I’m answering the phones, doing admin work, helping the other teams and part of project groups.
A few months ago, Liam and I moved in together, we’re very happy. It felt strange to begin with as I’d never lived with a boyfriend before. Having our own place has meant we’re learning about budgeting too. I love my independence, it’s great.
I’ve come so far and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. If I could go back five years, I’d tell myself, you’ll do it.”
To find out more about Golden Lane Housing, get in touch with us.