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Anne-Marie has been an employment advisor in Leatherhead, Surrey, for more than eight years and every day draws inspiration from the people with mental health problems she helps to find and stay in work.

“I think a lot of clients feel there’s a big stigma and they’ll never be good enough to get a job again. I’ll always say to them I want them to find the job that’s right for them and not just the first job that comes along. Once you’re doing work that you actually enjoy you’re more likely to stay and to want to keep going with it. I always point out that I’m there in a supporting role and I’m going at their pace. Sometimes people’s mental health will dip as I’m working with them, but I’ll say that’s absolutely fine, that’s the way things go and they can still use our service.

“I think one of the things that inspires me most is that my clients have overcome so much to get to where they are now”

“I think one of the things that inspires me most is that my clients have overcome so much to get to where they are now. Some of the stories I hear, I’m amazed that they’re able to keep going and I’m amazed that they push through the things that are deeply felt for them. If I have a day where I feel I’m not really getting anywhere and then I meet a client who says “guess what I have an interview” they inspire me to keep going and to keep supporting them.”

“Anne-Marie has been wonderfully supportive, never pushy but ever encouraging. She’s shown me that I’ve so much to offer a potential employer”

And Anne-Marie has been an inspiration to others. One of those she’s helped nominated her for our annual achievement awards, saying: “Anne-Marie has been wonderfully supportive, never pushy but ever encouraging. She’s shown me that I’ve so much to offer a potential employer. I’ve gained a renewed confidence in my skills base and, despite being fifty and having been out of work for a lengthy period of time, I do truly feel a worthy candidate again. I honestly feel that somebody believes in me and that, in turn, has led me to believe in myself once again.”