Customer of Year Award Winners

Some of our customers were nominated for the Customer of Year Award at our Annual Rewards and Recognition event. Here the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner’s stories:

Sandra Anthony – 1st Place Winner Customer of the Year Award

Sarah has been nominated for the Customer of the Year Award due to her unrelenting determination to improve her life, in spite of the adversity she has faced. Sarah came to the Work Choice Programme with a very clear idea of what she wanted from life. After having been in foster care in her teenage years, she wanted to achieve a good standard of living for herself and to make her family proud. Despite her determination, Sarah had low self-esteem and found it difficult to accept praise, even when it was due. Prior to joining the Work Choice Programme, Sarah had a series of short-term jobs and some poor experiences of employment. Despite this, Sarah was determined to succeed. With the support of her Work Choice Advisor, Charlene Fletcher, Sarah was able to identify the specific areas where her dyslexia affected her, something which she had previously found difficult to explain to her employers, which in turn had resulted in a lack of reasonable adjustments. Due to her poor previous experiences, Sarah was reluctant to disclose her dyslexia or to discuss the support from Access to Work that she was entitled to when she applied for a job with a new employer, but with encouragement from Charlene, Sarah agreed to disclose. Sarah worked hard to prepare for her interview and the interviewer said that she outshone every other candidate! Sarah now works in Customer Services within SSE and is preparing to progress into unsupported employment. Sarah has worked hard to get to grips with her new role, engaging with Access to Work for additional support and has shown what has been described as a ‘steely determination’ to succeed. Charlene has admitted that she was concerned, initially, that Sarah was aiming too high and was going to be disappointed, however, Charlene has said she has never been so happy to have been proved wrong!

Well done Sarah!


Susan Cunningham – 2nd Place Winner Customer of the Year Award

Sue has been nominated for the Customer of the Year Award in recognition of the tremendous journey she has been on. Sue came to the Work Choice Programme after being made redundant, from a long-held, position. Sue found the redundancy difficult to accept, and despite the fact that she came to the programme with many work skills, her confidence was at an all-time low. Sue has a hearing impairment and found the experience of looking for work, after such a long time in employment, increasingly frustrating. With the support of Sue’s Advisor, Julie, and the rest of the team, Sue was able to work through her feelings about the loss of her job, which enabled her to take on the challenge of finding new employment opportunities. Julie supported Sue to identify a work opportunity and although it wasn’t in an ideal location, Sue decided to give it a go, taking up the post in December 2014. Today, Sue remains in work, as a translator for deaf people, and has just successfully completed twenty-six weeks unsupported employment. Katherine Betts, who nominated Sue has said that the whole team is proud of Sue’s achievements and that since settling into her new job, Sue has been a

different person and has been described as ‘happy and glowing’.

Congratulations to Sue!