Christie uses her creativity to find employment

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For many people with a disability, being creative is a way to stay connected and positive.

Christie Barnard, 36, from Mold in North Wales has always been creative. She previously worked in photography for a media organisation where she used her keen eye for detail to pick the best photos for archiving and news stories. That was until she experienced workplace bullying, which resulted in Christie having no option but to leave her job due to stress.

Christie continues to suffer with the lasting effects of this experience and the trauma led to her developing a stutter that destroyed her confidence when communicating with others. After being unemployed for five years, Christie joined the Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES) programme delivered by Maximus. IPES is a voluntary service to help people with complex barriers find work in Wales. Christie was assigned a key worker who built a strong relationship with her so that Christie began to communicate and have more confidence.

With the encouragement of her support worker and her creative skills, Christie was offered a job at Lasting Blooms, in Gresford, North Wales. Christie arranges bespoke flowers for a range of clients which she really enjoys. Christie’s support worker attends her shifts with her and advocates on Christie’s behalf. This will continue until Christie feels confident and comfortable in her working environment.

Lasting Blooms Director, Michelle Wiles, has described Christie as ‘a welcome addition to the company’ and said: “Christie’s support worker collaborated with us to make reasonable adjustments. We would be delighted to work with IPES again in the future.”

18 June, 2021