Mariah’s life-changing accident – the result of a horse spooking which sent her flying backwards onto a concrete floor – led to an emergency operation to treat a bleed on her brain and a fractured skull. She was placed into an induced coma for nine days and narrowly missed being paralysed. Thankfully, at the time of the accident, Mariah had been wearing all of the correct safety equipment, including her riding hat, which she readily credits as saving her life.
Undergoing a further operation to fit a titanium plate in her head a year later, and after learning to walk again, Mariah’s thoughts turned to work. She had extensive equestrian work experience, including a spell at The Royal Stud, but struggled to find work despite actively applying for up to 50 jobs a week.
“I hadn’t worked since early 2012 and my confidence was at rock bottom after everything I’d been through,” explains Mariah, now 22. “I was referred to Ingeus in King’s Lynn and was amazed at the different range of support they were able to provide, both to help manage my health and improve my employability.”
Mariah worked with an Ingeus employment advisor to identify her transferrable skills and look at possible career choices. She had previously spent seven years caring for family members in addition to the practical, administrative and multi-tasking skills she’d developed working in equestrian centres, and so a career in care was a perfect match.
Mariah’s head injury also left her occasionally coping with fatigue, lack of energy and an associated low mood and so a specialist Ingeus physical health advisor was called in to support Mariah’s return to work. Mariah was given advice on relaxation, goal setting, and managing her condition and attended Ingeus wellbeing workshops on sleep and routine, the benefits of healthy eating and exercise, disclosing her health condition and stress management.
In August 2015, Mariah was successful in gaining her first permanent job as a support worker for a local community care provider. She was helped again by her Ingeus health advisor to adapt her sleeping and eating patterns to prepare for night time working hours and in-work support calls have since continued to monitor Mariah’s health and work achievements.
“In six months working with Ingeus, I completely changed,” said Mariah. “They helped me build my confidence and made me realise that I had valuable skills to offer to employers. Getting my first proper job was amazing, I worked there for almost a year and truly believe I’ve found my vocation. Thanks to Ingeus, when I saw a support worker vacancy closer to my home, I had the skills and motivation to move on alone.”
Mariah now works for the Regard Group at a supported living service in Gayton where she supports people with all of the practical necessities to progress in life and hopefully one day live independently.
Gemma Watson, Mariah’s manager at Regard said: “Mariah has now been with us for a number of months and is settling in really well. She is building positive working relationships with staff and service users and working with the people we support towards improving their daily living skills and achieving individual goals.”
For Mariah, who still loves horses, her rewards come by seeing the people she now supports make improvements to their lives.
“After my accident, and fighting to get my health and career back on track, I really understand the importance of even the smallest steps forward,” she concludes.
“I am still around horses but haven’t been riding as much lately due to being so busy working!”
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