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Diane is hearing impaired after contracting meningitis at the age of 5. She attended a hearing school but was bullied because of her hearing loss. She got through school by learning to lip-read as there was no professional help in those days. She left school at 16 and went to college to study English and Maths.

Because of the bullying she received at school, Diane lacked confidence and stayed at home until she was 28.

Diane's story:
I eventually plucked up the courage and found my first job but I was always treated unfairly by other staff that had no deaf awareness or understanding for those who couldn't hear very well. After working in a couple of places, I went back to college and did quite a few courses in English, Maths, Word processing and even learned sign language. From about 2003 until 2011, I did different jobs while I got the qualifications I wanted. I really wanted a better job with nice people. I still had no confidence and felt quite nervy at the thought of working again.

I had a friend who worked at BID Services and she knew how I felt. She suggested that I contact the Employment Service and speak to Karen Young. I got in touch with her and asked her if she could help me, I found her to be caring, kind and patient. She listened to me and gave me a lot of reassurance that one day, I would be working in a lovely place with nice people.

She helped me to improve my CV and gave me a lot of tips on how to look for jobs and how to apply online. With her support, I did some work for 6 months at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the Audiology department, where I had to conquer my fear of going on a train. I enjoyed it and then afterwards, started a volunteer opportunity at BID with the Employment Service. I have an administrative role where I help with data inputting, photocopying, scanning and filing. The team has even roped me into making cups of tea but I love it here, I don't mind at all. There is a brilliant environment and other staff here are friendly, kind and lovely. They just accept me for who I am.

My confidence has increased and I have really come out of my shell. I am not so shy anymore. Karen has helped me a lot, she is a brilliant mentor and an inspiration!

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