Our Colleague Spotlight feature is on Rachael Walker, who is our Area Operations Manager for East EmployAbility at Surrey Choices. Read her interview below to learn what she loves about EmployAbility, memorable outcomes, and much more!
What do you most love about your job?
My role over 25 years has seen many changes and I have worked with many, many people we have supported over the years. Following someone’s journey is still what motivates me from school and college, to independent travel and employment. I love seeing people become valued members of their community.
What has been your most memorable outcome?
I can remember my first paid outcome very clearly. In the early days Surrey County Council were keen to employ people we support. I helped a young lady to secure at role at County Hall in Kingston in the then Leader of the Council’s office as an Admin Assistant.
What is something you wish you had known earlier?
How big the service would grow and develop. We have diversified and expanded to support so many people across Surrey and beyond. Overcoming barriers into employment and making a huge difference to so many people’s lives. EmployAbility was only a one year pilot back in 1998!
What has been one of the biggest changes you have seen?
How the staff team has changed. We were a team of eight and all staff came from our day service provisions. Today we have a huge team, all coming from very diverse backgrounds, bringing a multitude of skills and knowledge to the team.
What would you say to someone who wants to join the EmployAbility Team?
If you have a passion to make a difference to someone’s life, be a part of their journey and enable people to live independently, have a real job and be socially active in their local community, come and join our team and bring your skills and knowledge with you!
What does the future look like for EmployAbility?
EmployAbility looks set to grow even more as we take on new contacts and programmes, support more people with diverse disabilities, overcoming new barriers into paid and volunteering roles, and to spread our wings further into bordering counties.
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