Published: May 10, 2023
I was forced to give up work in early 2018, after a serious physical health issue which almost resulted in life-changing major surgery. This was combined with, and exacerbated by, mental health issues which I had been dealing with for years.
I had not engaged with health professionals on these issues, precisely because of the mental health problems. I preferred to shut myself away and self-treat with an excess of alcohol and non-prescription painkillers. This was whilst holding down a full-time job in frontline retail, which itself was impacting on my mental health.
Initially, I was introduced to Access to Industry by my Enable Scotland advisor, after suggesting that I needed to formally brush up on my IT skills. I was told about their Access Data service. They supported me in completing several Data courses.
My study has expanded into more advanced areas of Data Science and Data Citizenship. I was also afforded the chance to volunteer on a Wikipedia editing project, run by the University of Edinburgh. Not only does it provide a little more structure in my life, but it helps in getting used to a modern office environment. I look forward to continuing in a new role as Mentor to new volunteers, and eventually in the Library Digitisation part of the project.
I have engaged with other bodies previously, at the suggestion of the DWP, with a view to improving my chances of re-entering the workplace, but it has been Access to Industry who have provided me with the key elements which, I feel, have helped me make the biggest strides towards my current life goals.
As a middle-aged male, formerly suffering from chronic health issues, and still suffering from a couple of minor issues which require ongoing management, I hope to find full-time work which suits me physically and is more in tune with where I am in terms of mental health. Something I could settle into, and remain in, heading towards retirement, would be my ideal goal.
More information on our Access Data service can be found here.
In co-operation with Data Education in Colleges and funded as part of the Data skills Gateway programme.Back to Case Studies