My brother lived in a Home Group service and I was sneaking in at night for somewhere to stay. Home Group colleagues caught me but, instead of punishing my brother, they asked if I needed help.
They housed me and supported my mental health; I started therapy and began putting my life back together. I threw myself into all the involvement opportunities available including reviewing complaints and major incidents, equality and diversity events, the national customer panel and visited over 50 supported services as a customer assessor.
I left when I was well enough but didn’t want to stop being involved. I signed up as a volunteer, then the apprenticeship came up and Home Group helped me apply, even paying for travel to the interview.
It was an adjustment. I hadn’t worked full-time for four years, still had to manage my mental health and, at times, became overwhelmed. If I had worked for any other company I wouldn’t have got through that first year. I was offered the chance to study for a level 3 qualification and last year Home Group made my role permanent as an assistant involvement advisor.
I love my job. It’s helped me to be proud in so many ways. I’ve learned to love who I am and came out as bi last year, which led to me reverse mentoring one of our executive directors. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of being able to promote all of this to customers too, and inspire them to move forward in their own lives.
Home Group has an amazing way of recognising the value in my differences. I wouldn’t be here now without these unbelievable opportunities.
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