I took back control and look what I’ve achieved – Peter’s Story

17 June 2021

I took back control and look what I’ve achieved – Peter’s Story

Baker extraordinaire, Peter, took back control of work by choosing his industry, role and employer. This has helped him move through many challenges. He lives with arthritis.

Peter had been able to choose his job and employer all his life before he developed arthritis. He had been working as a trade-qualified baker for over 25 years. After a period of not being able to work due to his health condition, he reached out for employment support. He’s now receiving support from CoAct / Community Solutions in Cannonvale through Disability Employment Services.

When he first met with his employment consultant, they completed two assessments together. The first was about his wellbeing, the second focused on which job and industries he’d like to work in.

Peter’s health and wellbeing assessment identified the level of difficulty he would experience if carrying out certain activities. This revealed that he’d lost a lot of his belief in himself, which was impacting his mental health and ability to move forward.

His employment consultant, Dianne, says, “He would come into our appointments with droopy shoulders and a sad face. He felt useless – like he was never going to work again. I worked closely with him to try to help him focus on the positive and what was good in his life. I tried to model a positive and optimistic outlook to lift him, and over a period of about four months it really worked.”

Through Dianne’s connections, she discovered that a bakery was going to be opening up at Daydream Island. She approached the employer and managed to secure Peter a short-term role as a General Hand. This allowed him to prove his work ethic and develop the trust he needed to be first in the line for the trade-qualified baker role.

The interview at Daydream Island really gave him the boost he needed,” Dianne says, “he was able to talk confidently about his experience and all the things he’s good at.

As Dianne had planned, he moved into the bakery within two months, to begin with part-time and now full-time, and he couldn’t be happier. While Peter may still have a bad day, his Retention Support Worker helps him to minimise and manage these days so he has control over them. He now chooses to rest at the end of his working day, which helps him manage his fatigue and pain. He also knows that if the job gets too much there is the possibility that he can job share.

Peter has a huge smile on his face every day and he even won an outstanding performance award from his employer. Taking back control over his employment by choosing his industry, role and employer has helped him move through many challenges. And we’re still here to support him, for as long as he needs.

If you would like to take back control over your job search and are living with a mental health condition, treated illness, injury or disability, we can help. Register for Disability Employment Services today.

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