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Thakarren lives in Birmingham. As her whole family is hearing, communication at home was not always easy as English was not the family's first language. She grew up feeling isolated and there were a lot of communication breakdowns at home, until two of her sisters learned to sign.

Thakarren attended a deaf school then went on to college to study English, Maths and Accountancy.

Thakarren's story:
I wanted to stay on at college and continue my studies, but after two years I had to leave as my family said it was a bit far. I stayed at home, where I felt a bit lonely. I got a call at home from an Asian Deaf Group and worked as a volunteer for three years which I loved as it allowed me to improve my skills in administration. I wanted to work as a project manager, but unfortunately the place closed down. I then went back to college and studied Level 2 in administration. I was also quite interested in accountancy initially then went on to do an Intermediate course which I enjoyed. I wanted to carry on but I had a personal loss and I was feeling depressed so I had a year or two out. I then started to look for volunteer work which was very hard as I couldn't find any work and was really frustrated.

I felt like I was going around in circles so that's when I asked BID for support and they helped me to get a couple of volunteering positions. With Karen and Megan's help, they encouraged me to apply to become a volunteer with two deaf charities. There were no barriers there so communication was easy and I enjoyed the challenges there.

My friends started to go to the Employment Service and they told me that Karen was really good so about 6 months ago, I decided that I was now ready for work. I want to carry on with my volunteer work so would prefer a part time role.

I met with Karen and Megan again. They both had such a positive attitude that make me feel confident and empowered. They made me feel that I am employable, I just need to find the right job. My English and Maths are quite good already so I didn't need help with that but I did need to learn how to present a CV correctly and the whole process of looking for a job, applying for one and going to interviews.

Now I feel really encouraged as I have people to help me who are fighting my corner and giving me confidence. Megan has been brilliant too, she is deaf herself and a fantastic signer. She is just as good. I look at her and think if she can do it, then I can too.

Find out more about BID's Employment Service