Returning to Work

September 23, 2021 Case Studies - Membership Heather Gilchrist

In March last year, I never would have thought for one minute that would be my last shift with my theatre job.

I was working one day, then told to not come in the next, because the country went into lockdown. I was then put on furlough for many months. It was so strange not working and not having my normal routine.

I was recently told that I was going to back to work and to say I was nervous would be an understatement! I have been suffering with anxiety throughout the pandemic and, although I want to get back to normal, my anxiety has become worse at the thought of being back at work. With help from the team on the ACE Connect helpline, they have helped me work through my worries and I managed to stay on top of things.

They helped me realise that it was ‘normal’ to have some worries.

On the 5th September, I had my first day back. A full afternoon of training around the new rules and my normal shift in the evening. It was a very long day for me and because I live outside of Glasgow. And as it was a Sunday service for public transport, I had to stay in town.

My work were great though. I spoke to them about my anxieties and they have  supported me with this.

There were lots of new things to get used to. For example, wearing a mask at work all the times. I’m not allowed to wear my own masks as they have to be black to go with our uniform. The theatre has gone cashless which makes my job so much easier, as there is no money counting!

It has been really good to see everyone again, my colleagues and the customers. I felt happy to be back at my work even though I was anxious in the lead up to the shift. The main thing I noticed after my shift was how sore I was feeling after standing for the entirety of my shift. I just haven’t been used to it and haven’t done too much exercise throughout the pandemic. My takeaway is to remember comfy shoes!

It was my dream to work in a theatre and a few years ago ENABLE Works helped me to realise that dream.

They supported me to get my job and I will always be thankful to them for helping me. I knew I didn’t want to give this opportunity up but going back was extremely daunting.

Being an ENABLE Scotland member, and part of their support structure, helped me via ACE Connect to talk through my concerns and helped me to find the confidence to get back out there to work!

If you are experiencing the same concerns, please join us by becoming an ENABLE Scotland Member today!


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