"You don’t have to struggle on your own".

That is the message Sophie Evans, from Atherton, who has a speech impediment and coordination disorder, is making clear.

The 23-year-old hopes her success in getting a job she enjoys will inspire young people who are seeking work but fear rejection because they have a disability.

“You can achieve and succeed,” Sophie said.

“I have a speech impediment that people would generally describe as a stutter and I also have dyspraxia that affects a person’s motor skills.

"However, I try not to let this dominate my life.

"I have had to face various challenges in my life and some people just don’t understand or have the patience.

"I now want to inspire and reassure other people, including those with speech impediments and low self-esteem, by saying that ‘you don’t have to struggle on your own'.

Sophie works as an admin assistant at the Bolton branch of Keoghs Solicitors in their complex injury credit hire department. She was supported in her current role by Working Well (Work and Health Programme), which provides help to individuals with disabilities and health conditions.

Sophie said: “I have experienced low self-confidence and a sense of losing direction.

"I went to university, but the environment was challenging and I had to re-sit a year.

“I’m now employed because I accepted the help that is available and received great encouragement from my family and friends. It’s so important to value who you are, recognise your gifts and know that you can make a valuable contribution.”

Feeling unsure of what to do, Sophie was referred by Leigh Jobcentre Plus to Working Well, delivered in Greater Manchester by Ingeus.

It is a scheme commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and receives support from the European Social Fund.

Sophie joined Working Well in January.

She received support to review her CV, improve her interview skills and responded well to the one-to-one coaching that gradually built up her confidence.

Leigh Journal:

Sophie works for Keoghs Solicitors' Bolton branch

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Ingeus key worker Lizzy Durham said: “Our key goal with Sophie was to enable her to regain her self-confidence and provide the means for Sophie to improve her job-seeking skills.

"She is now an incredible role model.”

Sophie attended a work academy supported by Keoghs Solicitors and is run by Bolton College over a four-week period.

“The work academy really helped. I began to see the transferable skills that I had,” said Sophie.

“Eventually I was interviewed by Keoghs for a position within their company and I was successful and felt very proud of myself.

“I’m really enjoying my role as an admin assistant, which entails supporting the team by carrying out duties such as filing and scanning, logging information into the computer system, assisting staff with urgent duties and printing important documents when required.

"Everyone in the team is so friendly and helpful."

Responsible business manager with Keoghs Solicitors, Rachel Mitchell-Dyson, said: “We are delighted that Sophie has joined us and found Keoghs so welcoming and supportive, to the extent that she now wants to share her story to encourage and inspire other people and highlight the fantastic support that is available to them.

"Since starting the Sector Based Work Academy partnership, working with Bolton College, Bolton Job Centre Plus and Bolton Council, it has gone from strength to strength with our ‘See me not CV approach’ – well done Sophie."