Niki Webb is a Recruitment Resourcer at TBG Learning in Swindon, her journey to TBG Learning took a different route to most, as her first encounter with the company was as a customer who wanted support in getting back to work.
Niki was unemployed and receiving Employment Support Allowance (ESA), because of this she was able to voluntary sign up to the government’s flagship Work Programme to receive help to get a job.
“I had been out of work for more than two years when I first came to TBG Learning, as I had previously been signed off work, suffering from reactive depression, which made it really difficult for me to function properly and commit to the daily tasks of my job. To make matters worse, while off sick I found myself facing redundancy, which further added to my anxiety and feelings of been depressed.”
Depression in the UK doesn’t often get the respect that it should because many consider it an invisible illness. However depression is not just an illness, but a recognised mental health condition that can become a disability if it has long term effects on normal day-to-day activity. In the UK alone one in ten adults will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. People can be affected by depression at any age, but women are more likely to get depression than men.
Niki said, “I never wanted to become a stigma to my illness and disability, but with the added pressure of being made redundant it took me to a bad place. It was hard to get my head around loosing the job that I loved and had for 10 years as an Engineer and Stores buyer within Export and Shipping.
“Having spent nearly a year wallowing and being consumed by my anxieties, I needed to, and was ready to, get back to being me. The Niki I was before experiencing depression. With the support of my family and a wonderful year of being at home just enjoying my life and spending time with my two children really made the difference.”
Eager to get back into work Niki was referred to TBG Learning Swindon, who was considered the best team to help her do so.
“Within a matter of weeks the team had helped me to secure a number of interviews, one of which was for the post of Administrator at TBG Learning Swindon. Out of all the interviews I attended, I wanted the job with TBG Learning the most.
“I can’t describe how anxious I felt when I first came to TBG Learning as a customer, not to mention on arrival to my first appointment I was four hours early because I miss read my letter.
“At most places you would be turned away and told to come back at the appointed time, but not at TBG Learning. They welcomed me, offered me a cup of tea and found someone to see me even though I was so early. The atmosphere at the centre was so different from anything I had experienced at the job centre. It was just so welcoming.
“From that initial act of kindest and support I received at my first appointment, I knew that if I ever need support and fell back into depression there would be someone there to support me.
“It’s bizarre to think that I came to TBG Learning as a Work Programme customer who was working out personal issues on how to manage and deal with my anxiety and now I’m a permanent member of the team.”
James Manners, Business Manager at TBG Learning Swindon said Niki’s confidence has grown from strength to strength. “We recently promoted Niki to fill a position of Recruitment Resourcer. In this role Niki works with Work Programme customers to assess their readiness for work and match their skills to the right jobs for them. Niki is doing a fantastic job, she’s embedded herself into the team here in Swindon and her enthusiasm for learning has enabled her to develop herself and her knowledge to be able to progress to a more senior position in a short space of time.”