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Posted 10 September 2021

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Laneen’s story: Never giving up

Having cerebral palsy, facing judgement, experiencing inequality, suffering stigma, being misdiagnosed and ending up in hospital 35 times… It’s safe to say that Laneen has been through a lot.

However, rather than letting it define her, she has overcome them and drawn on support such as Ongo Talk and the Looking Up project to move closer to employment.

This has included one-to-one personalised help to increase her confidence, volunteering opportunities such as at the Arcafe in Scunthorpe to enhance her independence, and gaining a range of qualifications to boost her skills.

Laneen said: “I’m still able to do loads of things such as going on holidays on my own and doing a sky-dive to raise money for charity. In fact, I’m looking at doing another one soon with some Ongo staff to raise awareness and support those with disabilities.

“The support has helped to give me so much. I’m very grateful for what Kim (Wellbeing Coach) has done – she’s given me the time, listened to me, been there when I’ve needed help, and has put the steps in place to make sure I get what I want from the support.

“I don’t think other people, including many employers, understand what I could offer and how much I just want to help others. I’ve applied for over 60 jobs without success, and all I’d like is to be given a chance.

“Every single obstacle I’ve faced in my life so far – whether it be physical (stomach ulcers), learning (cerebral palsy) or emotional (low self-belief) – I’ve risen above and come through for the stronger.

“That resilience and mental strength is something that will never leave me.”

Ongo Talk is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) until June 2022 and supports around 350 clients each year. The Looking Up is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) until December 2021 and annually supports around 90 clients.

To find out more about the projects, or how you can get involved, take a look at our website, and get in touch with the team: OngoTalk@ongo.co.uk.

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