Back to The Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2018

Elizabeth

Category: Action and activities

I enjoy making jewellery and it’s been great that I’ve been able to share this with friends online during lockdown.

A special sparkle in lockdown

Elizabeth has set up her own jewellery making club during lockdown. She enjoys working with beads and wire and has created jewellery that she sells in Street in Somerset.

36-year-old Elizabeth, who has a learning disability, is a Quality Consultant with Discovery. She is also a member of the Discovery council which speaks on behalf of all of the people the organisation supports. She is part of the interview panel for business support and senior management positions.

During lockdown she has been part of the `staying in touch’ project planning group which connects people online in friendship and fun clubs.

Elizabeth’s confidence has grown and been noticed by her colleagues. She automatically transferred her interview techniques online when she assessed candidates for positions in Discovery. She has also successfully completed a five week assertiveness course.

Elizabeth has a learning disability and sometimes processing information can be a challenge for her. She has learned in her working life how to manage her time and take the breaks she needs to support herself.

“The weekly jewellery club Zoom calls have been a lifeline for me during lockdown and a chance for me to have a natter with friends,” she said.

Here is some of the fabulous jewellery Elizabeth has made

Elizabeth was bullied and had a difficult time growing up. She discovered a natural empathy with others with more complex needs and felt driven to advocate for people who don’t have a voice or are overlooked, which led her to take on the Quality Consultant role.

Mel Horsfield, Elizabeth’s supported employment coordinator, says: “What I admire most about Elizabeth is that she sees everyone as an equal, she is a great listener and is very sensitive to other people’s point of view. She is always really positive and if she’s faced with a challenge, she will try her hardest to overcome it.”

During the first lockdown in the spring, Elizabeth initially shielded with her parents and faced a difficult decision about when to move back to her own house. She felt nervous about going out and took time to adapt to the new rules. With a little extra support, she soon felt confident to do this alone.

Elizabeth has a rare physical disability which means that she has great difficulty walking and during lockdown she wasn’t able to be independent and go out in her power chair. So, she learned new skills on her iPad instead. This enabled her to stay in control and make her own routines to connect with friends and work colleagues.

Paul Chorley, Learning and Development Facilitator, says: “Elizabeth is a true professional and takes her roles very seriously. It’s always a great pleasure for me to work alongside her; she is always so relaxed and nothing seems to faze her.”

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