Based with the Westminster team, Neelma, who is deaf, ably carries out her professional role with the aid of a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

“My interpreter helps me to communicate with the clients who can speak and hear,” said Neelma, who is 35 years old. “I receive Access to Work funding to help with the cost of my communication needs.”

CAREER PATH

Neelma began her current role in September 2019 after spending 13 years as a senior advocacy officer working for several deaf led charities. She wanted to work with a different organisation that would give her new opportunities to help improve people's circumstances and lives.

She explained: “Many of my clients have never worked with someone who is deaf, but we quickly overcome any awkwardness and have very productive working relationships. I think it can empower long term unemployed participants who meet me to see that potential barriers can be overcome with the right support and that having a fulfilling career at the same time as a disability or health condition is achievable.

“Adjusting to and embracing working alongside my BSL interpreter illustrates Ingeus’s approach that having a managed disability means that a person is still very employable and can thrive in their role.”
She added: “What’s important to me is that I keep my clients motivated in their search for employment. I am confident in my working approach and I have always believed that you have to keep on striving to achieve your goals.”

Central London Works is the government’s Work and Health Programme and is delivered by employment specialist Ingeus. It is commissioned by Central London Forward and receives support from the European Social Fund.