Perthshire Advertiser

Gavin’s joy at return to work

Bouncing back after blow

- ROBBIE CHALMERS

A partially sighted Perth man who spoke to the PA about his sadness when his work place was closing has revealed his delight at switching careers after almost half a century.

Gavin Fowler (62) was furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic and was subsequent­ly made unemployed after a 46year career in engineerin­g and production.

In May last year he told the PA of his heartbreak after it was announced Fishers laundry in Perth would close.

Gavin suffers from vertigo, which causes sensations of motion, and made work in certain employment sectors difficult.

But thanks to weekly remote support from his key worker at employment specialist Remploy, Gavin developed a new CV which led him on his new path as a carer.

He said: “I found it really hard to adjust to being unemployed and out of a routine.

“I didn’t have a CV and didn’t know how to go about applying for jobs.

“However, with support from Remploy I felt more confident that, with an improved CV and applicatio­ns, I would be considered for roles.”

“I really enjoyed receiving support virtually: it was different but I think I adapted well.

“We all had to make changes because of the pandemic and I’m so glad Remploy were able to continue offering its support remotely during these tough times.

“It feels great having this level of support and knowing I can call my key worker at any time.

“She gives me the support and confidence

I need.

“I’m able to discuss my concerns and know I have someone who understand­s and can help me.”

Gavin was open-minded about employment opportunit­ies and when a role in the care sector arose with Balhousie Care Group, he applied.

“I was given great advice on how to complete the applicatio­n - and when I was offered an interview I was over the moon,” he said. “I hadn’t had an interview for years, but my key worker went through the process.

“She provided mock interviews in preparatio­n, which was extremely beneficial and really paid off.

“I love this role and I hope I can progress to a higher level within the team, but for now I’m really enjoying being able to support people.”

Gavin has now been working for the Balhousie Care Group for over three months, and wishes he had started in the care sector sooner.

Care home manager Kaye McKay said; “Gavin is doing absolutely great, he fits in well with both the team and residents.

“He is very polite and keen to learn all he can.”

Gavin continues to receive in-work support from Remploy, which is under the Fair Start Scotland umbrella.

Last year, speaking about Fishers, Gavin had said: “I’ve only had two jobs in my life, at Don and Low when they had Tay Textiles, and at Fishers.

“For me, frankly, it is heartbreak­ing. They helped me through tough times. My managers were very good to me when I lost my wife Jackie.”

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