I found out about the National Careers Service via a local jobs fair I attended in Eastbourne. At the time I had recently moved back to the UK and I had been out of work for a very long time. I had been living in France with my disabled partner for 23 years and during that time had been a full-time carer for him and my autistic son.
In rural France, I had become very isolated and was the victim of verbal and mental abuse from my partner. As a result, I eventually moved into a ‘safe house’ in France before returning to the UK in April 2022. Those experiences had left me vulnerable – I felt completely useless and not worth anything.
“I felt completely useless and not worth anything”
I hadn’t managed to gain any formal qualifications at school, and my most recent UK work experience had been a retail role from 1982-1996. I knew this would make it difficult for me to find work, and there were some added barriers – I was having to readjust to UK life, I don’t drive, and I was worried about my adult son and his care (due to his Autism and the fact that English isn’t his first language).
I needed to improve my self-esteem and confidence, and wanted to find a way to secure work in the local area so that I wouldn’t need to travel for. So, I contacted the National Careers Service for help.
I had a 1-1 appointment at a local library with my National Careers Service adviser and we talked about my background, current situation and my goals to find part-time work in a local care home. To help improve my confidence, I was booked in to attend some Employability Workshops, and my adviser helped me to develop a CV, my interview skills, and with finding and applying for jobs in my local area.
“I hope that in sharing my story I can help and inspire other women facing abuse”
A month later I was invited to an interview at a local care home, which I was so excited about! Within a week, I had received a job offer.
I’m so happy and excited that I have been able to find the job I want in my local area. My confidence has really improved and I feel more engaged with life. My health also improved as a result of me feeling more positive and I’m now focusing on improving my fitness by monitoring my step count.
I’m so grateful for the help and support given to me by the National Careers Service. Without them, I couldn’t have done it and I hope that in sharing my story I can help and inspire other women facing abuse to realise they can achieve better and move on in life.
The National Careers Service provides free, up to date, impartial information, advice and guidance on careers, skills and the labour market in England to anyone aged 13 and upwards. To speak to a National Careers Service adviser, call 0800 100 900 or use our webchat. Lines are available from: 8am – 8pm Monday – Friday, and 10am – 5pm Saturday