A YEAR-long crusade to find employment, which included applying for more than 1,000 jobs, has finally ended in success for one North-East woman.

Atlas Washroom Systems, in West Auckland, and Ingeus, which delivers the Government’s Work Programme in the North-East, joined forces to help Emma Greaves find work as an office assistant.

“I desperately needed a job so that I could pay the bills that were mounting up but, because I have Crohn’s disease, my options were limited,” said the 21-year-old, from Bishop Auckland. “Jobs that are likely to cause stress or mean lifting heavy things are out of bounds, and employers seemed to lose interest in me when I was honest about my condition.

Loading article content

“In fact, the relief of being back in work has led to a noticeable improvement in my health and so I am able to concentrate on doing a good job here – and that’s my aim.”

Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the lining of the digestive system and can be debilitating when it flares up.

Miss Greaves regularly attended her local Jobcentre Plus, and was referred to Ingeus for specialist employment support.

Chris Reed, who was her employment advisor at Ingeus, said: “Emma had the right attitude and, despite her health condition and the continual knock-backs from her relentless job applications, she had a very clear determination to succeed.”

Gerald Shervington, managing director at Atlas, said: “The great advantage was that Ingeus took the time to understand our business and the role that we were looking to fill, and then screened candidates to ensure those we interviewed had the right skills and motivation to do the job.

“Emma was the natural choice and we’re delighted to have her as part of our team.”