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Ivana’s Story

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Image shows Ivana smiling

Case study: Ivana, Receptionist at Certitude’s Lumiere Court office

I’ve worked with Certitude for six years. I thought I’d never work again. I had been supporting my family for a long time, and I thought ‘who is going to give me a job now?’.

Volunteering felt like a good way of filling my time, and I liked the idea of meeting people and giving back to my community.
So, I started by volunteering and covering the reception desk over lunch breaks and that continued for about a year until a part-time role came up and my manager suggested I apply for it.

It felt quite scary. I had to ask for some help with the application as it was all new to me. I’m dyslexic and often need a bit of extra support to understand things. Everyone was supportive, and I was happy to get the role. I still feel that way. We have such a brilliant team and they’re all so understanding which makes you want to come to work.

I recently won the People’s Choice award in our annual Excellence Awards – and I was just so shocked. I couldn’t believe I was valued in that way when we have so many people who do wonderful things every day. I’m proud to be part of that. It’s important to me that I’m there to put people at ease. I believe that everybody deserves a bit of time even if you’re busy and I love just meeting everyone and making them feel welcome.

Being part of the Facilities team means there is a lot going on all the time. Sometimes that can mean new things to learn which, because of my dyslexia, often takes a bit longer for things to stick in my head. But my manager and the whole team support the way that I learn. I like our e-learning platform because I can learn at a pace that works for me, stopping and starting when I need to repeat things – it might not be for everyone – but it works for me.

I feel lucky my work is flexible and supportive, which is especially reassuring when you have caring responsibilities in your personal life, like I do. Coming to work helps me to switch off from things at home and gives me something different to focus on and if I need it, we also have access to extra emotional support from the employment assistance line.

“It’s just an amazingly supportive organisation which I think even now, is still quite unique.”

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