Alex was referred to Ingeus on the Government’s Work Programme by his local Jobcentre in Bradford. Ingeus’ employment advisor, Nadia Saghir was assigned to provide his support but quickly recognised that due to Alex’s Deafness he would require additional specialist support and then enlisted Clarion UK’s employability support for Deaf people.



Suzanne Truelove, a key member of Clarion UK’s national team of Communication and Employment Consultants (CEC) was then assigned to provide the support for Alex, Nadia and any potential employers that they may encounter during the support sessions.  Alex is a very likeable, shy young man who works as a volunteer with The Heart Foundation and studied Horticulture at College and was interested in working within a garden centre environment.  However, due to his shyness, lack of confidence and job searching skills, this was proving difficult for him, but then along came our CEC, Suzanne!

Suzanne commented “When I first met Alex he arrived at his appointment with his mum, as he had done for all his previous meetings with his advisor at Ingeus.  Alex has a severe hearing loss and relies heavily on lip-reading, body language and gestures in order to communicate.  Communicating can be extremely difficult for Alex, which is not only due to his deafness but also his confidence. Therefore, his mum would often accompany Alex to his appointments in order to relay information and answer questions that Alex had difficulty understanding”

Suzanne explained “during the first few meetings I had in-depth conversations with both Alex and his mum, building on their confidence and trust and after only a few sessions Alex was confident enough to attend his appointments independently. I then set about supporting Alex working and increasing on his confidence, interview techniques, job searching and job applications”  Within a short space of time they were successful in gaining an interview at Alex’s local B&Q store.

However, during the interview, Alex struggled to process the interview questions in order to give constructive answers and, although unsuccessful on that occasion, it was nonetheless a building block to work upon for future interviews.

Alex and Suzanne continued tirelessly working on improving his interview skills and went through many mock interviews together but he found it difficult to cognitively put his work ethics, commitment and team working abilities into words, which in turn would make it a challenging aspect for him to be successful at interview. Suzanne further explained “due to this, we had to think of another way in which he could gain employment”

Alex also does voluntary work with The Heart Foundation and they commented that he is a “fantastic worker with excellent work ethics and a good team player”. Suzanne and Alex discussed his role there and how those skills could be transferrable to possible different job roles elsewhere. After careful consideration, Alex declared that he would ideally like to work at Tong Garden Centre; which is a large garden centre a short distance from his home.

Alex then emailed Tong Garden Centre explaining his situation and his difficulties coping with interviews and offered himself on an unpaid work trial as a compromise so they could assess him at work rather than at an interview.  To his delight, the Manager at the garden centre agreed and after just TWO DAYS work trial he impressed them so much they then offered Alex a permanent 16 hours per week job!


Tong Garden Centre where Alex now works

Tong Garden Centre where Alex now works

Nadia was also on hand to support Alex with all his requirements, which included Ingeus paying for a helmet, in order for Alex to cycle to work, and clothing.

Suzanne says “having an excellent relationship with Nadia and Ingeus has enabled us to join up our resources and specialised support which has led to a very successful outcome for Alex”

Nadia commented “Alex has been wonderful to work with, he is polite, punctual and determined and has really tried hard and deserves this opportunity. With a great amount of help from Suzanne from Clarion UK, he had been to a few interviews, built his confidence and now successfully employed by Tong Garden Centre. Working with Suzanne has made it so much easier for him to understand many things. There has been nothing but excellent feedback on Alex’s progress. It has been a great experience for me too”

And lastly, but most importantly, Alex commented “Suzanne was brilliant, I would never have got this job without her help, she is awesome! I love having a job and not having to sign on anymore, I feel very proud of myself. Clarion UK and Ingeus’ services were invaluable to me”