John N’s Story

“Since discovering that I was afflicted with a hereditary life-long health complaint, my life has not always been easy, suffering from bouts of both physical and mental health problems. Looking back, it has been both a terrifying and life-affirming time.

After many years of suffering in ignorance and denial of how my illness was at various times affecting me, I was finally forced to think out my journey.

My turning point came when I was admitted into hospital and told that if I had not been admitted when I was, I would probably have had just 24 hours to live. I had surgery and did not know whether or not I would be left disabled afterwards.

After spending a considerable amount of time in recovery and rehabilitation, I was able to find suitable employment by first of all engaging in voluntary work, which led to a job as a sales assistant. Sadly one day my job ended.

Because my job was so stressful, I had started to take singing lessons at college and developed my passion for singing. It continues to be a great way of de-stressing and an opportunity to socialize in a non-pressurized environment. I also decided to continue my voluntary work as a way of supporting others and volunteered for a LGBT charity supporting the mental health and general wellbeing of its clients.

I had to go back to work as I was finding it increasingly difficult to survive on no money to pay bills and just about eat. Because my health condition is constant, I have good times and bad times and cannot claim any health benefits.

I was introduced to Maria and Deivid through an agency helping people with long-term health complaints return back into the workplace. From the moment that I walked into the showroom at Suited & Booted, I felt that something special was going to happen.

Maria and Deivid treated me with such kindness, compassion and friendliness, and spoke to me with such respect and care, and spent time with me to help find a suit that I could wear for a job interview. And even gave me a cup of tea while I was waiting.

Having completed the group interview, I think that my potential employer was so impressed with how I looked, that I was assigned to work in the menswear department of their flagship store in Oxford Street, despite not having any significant achievements on my CV.”

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