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60 Stories - Margo Hailstones

Margo Hailstones has worked in her local nursing home in Bellshill for more than eight years. Known by her colleagues to be kind, reliable and well-organised, she has gained a string of certificates including; IT Skills, Infection Control and Managing Challenging Behaviour - quite an achievement for someone who was once told she would ‘probably never have a paid job’. 
 
Naturally shy and quiet, Margo found that for many years she was at her most comfortable with her familiar routines and in the company of her family. But as she approached the age of 40, her sister-in-law Sharon felt that she was not living life to the full and was capable of achieving and giving so much more. 
 
Margo responded to Sharon’s encouragement and agreed to join the ENABLE Works programme, which supports people who have learning disabilities in finding employment. Despite feeling understandably apprehensive, she approached it in her typically good-natured way and decided that she would ‘give it a go’.  
 
Margo said: “It was quite scary at first, but when I got to know my ENABLE worker Elaine I felt more comfortable. We talked a lot about what I would like to do and she knew that I loved young kids, so my first placement was in a children’s nursery.”
 
Sadly, after a year of working at the nursery, changes were made to the qualification requirements for people who work in the childcare sector and, with Margo unable to undertake the new training, her placement came to an end. 
 
Having established that Margo was well-suited to working in a caring environment, her ENABLE worker suggested that she could take up a new placement working with adults in care at Hattonlea Nursing Home. Margo laughs as she recalls that she was far from keen on the idea.
 
“I wasn’t convinced! I was really disappointed when the nursery job ended and I was worried about starting again in a new place, but I also knew that I wanted to carry on working so I discussed it with Sharon and Elaine and decided that I would try it,” said Margo, of Bellshill, Lanarkshire.
 
Margo’s willingness to try is undoubtedly one of her most positive attributes. Although she found her new role at the nursing home challenging due to their protocols and recording systems, she took an enthusiastic approach to developing her skills and undertook a number of training courses. 
 
As a result of the additional support from both her employer and ENABLE Scotland, Margo became more confident in her abilities and soon found that she was settling in and enjoying her new role. 
 
“I was worried about not knowing what I was doing. The courses really helped me get over that because I was fine once I understood it all. My job involves lots of different domestic duties and I really enjoy it, but Elaine and Sharon were right, my favourite part of the job is chatting to all the old folk. I love hearing all their stories!” 
 
Margo’s family are exceptionally proud of her achievements. Sharon explains that she has come a long way and is now able to do many of the things that she felt unable to tackle before. 
 
“I love the changes in Margo. She has made friends with her workmates and will chat to them. She takes the bus on her own, handles her own money, pays bills and makes her own decisions about what she wants to buy. All of these things are a really big deal for her.” 
 
Since she started work, Margo Hailstones has blossomed into a much more confident and independent individual - something which Sharon, who has always believed in her sister-in-law’s capabilities, is delighted to see.
 
“Margo loves to talk about her working day and she is a much happier person now. You only have to look at the smile on her face!”​

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