Dare to Ask | The road to resilience

Complete video transcripts below: 

Abby: ...because you never know what you're capable of without trying.


Interviewer: What does an Employment Case Officer do at Castle?

Abby: So a case manager has a caseload of participants and we basically just we help them build their job readiness, whether that's training or just building their confidence. Sometimes it means taking them to doctor's appointments or getting them qualifications or retraining them for whatever reason it may be. They've worked in a particular industry for years and years and years. They're no longer able to do that and we help them find what it is that fills their cup to move on into employment.

Interviewer: What does disability mean to you?

Abby: To me, a disability is any form of condition that may impact any day-to-day task, regardless of employment, if it's something that impacts the way that you study or the way that if you're unable to drive or go to the shops on your own, anything that impacts your day-to-day life. To me, that's a disability, physical or not. 

Interviewer: Do you have a shared experience of disability?

Abby: I have suffered with mental health issues since I was a teenager. The later years of high school I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. For me, depression has been an up and down, it's come and gone. But my anxiety has been the main mental health that I've struggled with. I would probably say nearly ten years ago I had a very bad 12 months, nearly two years with my anxiety. I struggled to keep a job. I struggled to even leave the house. I struggled to keep relationships, even with my family, but I don't know what it was, something just snapped and I had to do something about it. I have done a lot of work over the years to get myself to where I am now, and I feel that I've learnt a lot of tools that I can pass on to some of our participants. It is a journey, but it's worth it. 

Interviewer: Has this experience influenced your decision to work at Castle?

Abby: I've always wanted to help people with just their day today. My Dad was also, he's an ex-jockey and 30 years ago he had a very bad accident which has left him unable to work for as long as I can remember. Dad's very independent, but we still do help him out. But I think also subconsciously once I came into this role, realizing how much it did help me has played a massive part in that as well, because it hasn't been easy the last 30 years living with that and my mental health has been definitely something... it's been hard, but I'm proud to say that I've come out the other side.

Interviewer: What is it like working at Castle?

Abby: It's great, it's great. We all really get along. I think everybody in the office understands every role to a certain extent and understands that every person we're speaking to is different, and we're all there for each other. We're all supportive. If it's a debrief that we need to do after a certain appointment, we do it. If it's, you know, celebrating the wins, we do it together.

Interviewer: How do businesses feel about employing someone with a disability?

Abby: Sometimes they can think that it's too hard. They're going to need extra training. We don't have the time, but that's where we come in, and that's where we offer that ongoing support on site. Time is money for employers. So, if they can hire someone who is able to do the role without any additional support, they're going to put them on first, but that person may not be the right person for the job. Just because they can do it doesn't mean they're going to be a good fit. There's so much that they can get from working with participants with disabilities. I've worked with employers that I've placed people or participants into roles and it's the first time using Castle and they've rang and said, you've actually created conversations around our workplace. You're teaching the younger staff members here that inclusion is a positive and it's not a bad thing. You know, even if someone does need that additional support. 

Interviewer: What is something you wish people knew about employing someone with a disability?

Abby: I think people just need to be more open-minded and realize that people with disabilities are not a negative to anybody. They're out here giving it a go. Especially employers looking at working with people with disabilities if they're attending your office with a resume in their hand and asking for a job that's a massive step for them. And you know, just inclusion is the biggest thing for everybody, for employers, for society, for any person that walks down the street. 


Learn more about how hiring a person with disability can of benefit to them, as well as your business.