Three years ago Irene, 55, developed a painful form of arthritis which made it difficult for her to continue with work. Irene lost her job and was unemployed for several years, supported only by Disability Living Allowance. Irene believed she would never work again, but she wanted to regain her independence. Irene was able to achieve this, by successfully establishing her own business.
Irene was referred to a Disability Employment Advisor (DEA) who confirmed her eligibility for funding. She worked together with the DEA and they considered all options for sustainable work that would require minimum retraining. This included self-employment, particularly the possibility of specialising in barbering.
Jobcentre Plus funding supported Irene to purchase hairdressing equipment, such as scissors, clippers and a chair, that were accessible to people affected by arthritis. With support from her DEA, Irene was able to start regaining her independence by having a direct say in how her support funds would be spent to forward her ambitions. This meant very specific, tailored help in outfitting her barber shop to ensure it catered for her impairment.
Irene says “I was able to set up my small business, and I got the right support through my DEA. Now I can earn my own living again and hold my head high.”
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