Born in Latvia and profoundly Deaf, Agnese moved to the UK almost four years ago searching for work and a better life in England.
When Agnese was referred to the Work Programme with Ingeus, her brother provided communication support for her which was very difficult as her brother has very basic signing skills and English is also his second language. This, unfortunately, had a negative impact on her confidence and independence until Ingeus’ advisor, Looqman Patel, recognised this and asked Clarion to appoint one of our Communication and Employment Consultants, Suzanne Truelove to support Agnese.
Suzanne tells us the story…
Starting with ‘Barriers’
Communication was challenging for both Agnese and myself, but with perseverance, Google Translate and sign apps, we developed a great relationship and communicated effectively. During this time, Agnese’s English language and British Sign Language had greatly improved!
Once we overcame the communication obstacles, we were then able to discuss Agnese’ education, and work experience and put short/mid/long term goals in place.
Agnese’s passion is art and photography and her long term goal is to work within this field. Looqman recognised this and located a photography course for her to attend and communication support was provided throughout. Agnese thoroughly enjoyed the course and commented that it reaffirmed her goal of pursuing a career within this area.
Agnese created a portfolio of her art and photography work and, after discussions regarding self-employment, she set up her own business in her chosen career but is well aware that it can take time to build up from scratch. Agnese then sought part-time work that would bring in a subsidised income whilst still pursuing her business in photography and art work.
Finding Part-Time Work
Agnese had no previous work experience, however, having done housekeeping for many years in the family home she decided she would like to do this alongside her self-employment, within a hotel environment.
I supported Agnese in creating a CV, cover letters and applying for vacancies. We also sent out letters to local hotels within a ten-mile radius of her home and she offered herself for unpaid work trials. We were delighted when the Holiday Inn at Brighouse took up her offer and were subsequently overjoyed when they then gave her a job as a room attendant for 18 to 24 hours per week! The manager at the Holiday Inn was delighted to have Agnese working there and also agreed to work around Agnese’s English course each Monday.
Success for Agnese!
I have been supporting Agnese for seven months now and, along with Looqman’s and Ingeus’ support, she has within that time: improved her BSL and English language to a point where she can communicate effectively, completed a photography course, enrolled on an English course, set up her own business, and gained a position as a room attendant in a large hotel chain. Her confidence and independence has grown immensely! A marvellous achievement in such a short space of time, well done to Agnese!
Looqman of Ingeus commented:
“Agnese was referred to us at Ingeus and the biggest barriers she faced in securing employment were the lack of work experience and very limited language in both BSL and English. I got in contact with Clarion, who support clients with communication and employment support and we introduced Agnese to Clarion’s Suzanne Truelove. Suzanne supported Agnese on a weekly basis and worked intensively with her applying for work and contacting employers.
Suzanne provided great support including securing an interview and subsequently a job offer with a local Holiday Inn as a Housekeeper! As a direct result, along with Agnese’s determination, she is now looking at securing a home for herself and becoming independent for the first time ever!”
We at Clarion are very proud of Agnese’ achievements and wish her all the very best for the future in her exciting new venture!