Hi I’m Rachael Walker and I am the Employment and Communities Manager for the East and Mid Surrey EmployAbility Team.
The team support people to access and retain employment that matches their choices and skills.
I enjoy my job as every day is different, the feeling you get when someone gets their first job and first wage is the reason we do what we do and when that job is someone’s dream job, then we know we do our jobs well.
I also enjoy seeing the team get their first outcome, this can be a great confidence boost and once you have the bug, it spurs you on to next your next outcome and so on……
Over the last 20 years since I started with EmployAbility, employment opportunities for people with disabilities and barriers into employment have become much more accessible, with employers taking on board that diversity in the workplace is so important so we can all be valued employees side by side.
When EmployAbility first started it is a one year project, so people who attended day services could have the opportunity to work in their local communities, some of whom are still in those jobs today. The project was so successful in that first year it was extended for a further 12 months then became a permanent service in the 3rd year.
My very first outcome was supporting ” C ” to gain her first paid job as a cleaner for an older person who needed help keeping her home clean and tidy. As it was a role in her local community I was able to support with travel training and soon she became independent both at work and travelling. My second outcome was very different, but just as exciting, supporting another customer into a paid admin role at Surrey County Council County Hall, working in the then Chief Executives offices doing a variety of admin tasks.
Today we work with a very wide range of people supporting into jobs ranging from those small tailored roles through to working with some of the biggest organisations and I think our success is down to the team we have, their perseverance, ” can do ” attitude and dedication to the people we work with. There is a job out there for everyone, be that paid, volunteering, work experience or a supported internship for the many students in the schools and colleges we work with.
Happy Birthday EmployAbility, here’s to the next 20 years