We give our employees opportunities to build skills, confidence and independence in our friendly and supportive workplace.
My name is Mandy Woodman. I’m 44 and live in Braintree, Essex. I am a mum of three boys; Oliver 22, Jamie 19 and Matt 15. I have been a full-time mum for the last 22 years and have longed for a career as opposed to a job with little satisfaction. I am blind and had heard about CLARITY through a friend and had purchased some of the products. I was impressed of course, especially with the shower gel; but wanted to find out if there were any opportunities of work for me.
I have always had an interest in counselling and communicating with people and was fortunate to be offered a position using all these skills in admin, reception and training and development. I am very happy here, and look forward to coming to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
After being offered the job at CLARITY, as much as I wanted it, I had to consider whether Vesper – my guide dog – would be able to cope with London. I realised that the only way of doing this initially, was to travel to London on the train, and take a taxi to work (via ‘Access to Work’).
Despite being told he could not work in London, Vesper surprised me by experiencing little anxiety when walking around Liverpool Street Station and I therefore decided to take the plunge and attempt the underground. I contacted an instructor of the local Guide dogs team, and he gently persuaded Vesper to take the tube. Once again, Vesper didn’t disappoint; he was, and still is, fantastic; showing little or no concern as he slowly and carefully guides me around people, luggage and safely to work.
Josephine is the Office Manager for the Scottish office of Clarity Employment for Blind People. “I’ve love working for Clarity. I’m registered blind myself and came through the jobcentre. Other than that I probably wouldn’t have been working.
I was a housewife and mother, [but] my children grew up. I’d never heard of Clarity before but the jobcentre put me in touch and Clarity provided training and software.” She has been working at the Clarity office ever since – for over 13 years – moving her way up the career ladder: “It’s kind of been a lifeline to myself. There are a lot of opportunities. I started in telesales and worked my way up to manager of the office.
[Now my role is the] total running of the office, telesales, creating a team, making the orders. There are seven of us and a driver. We do telesales, calling businesses all over Scotland – small businesses and sole traders, international companies – anybody who supports us.”
She is passionate about Clarity and the work that it does:
William has been working at Clarity for thirty-three years and enjoys his work and being part of the community there.
William joined Clarity in June 1981, his first job after a brief period of unemployment, and settled in quickly. Although generally a confident person, he was worried about finding a job before finding out about Clarity through another charity. He says that joining the organisation has made him more confident in his ability to work and settle into employment.
William says that the reason he enjoys working at Clarity so much is because of the enormous sense of community that the place has. He believes that Clarity isn’t just a place that people work at, it’s also a place that they go to feel a sense of belonging and community.
He also likes Clarity because it is adaptable – if you can’t do something they will adapt it so that you can do it. This seems to have proved useful and productive, as William has an everyman role on the factory floor – doing whatever is asked of him. He says that before joining the team, he had never worked on a factory line before, and because of Clarity, he can now do many things, including putting lids on the bottles and other containers that the products go into.
He says he would recommend Clarity’s products because he knows they are excellent, as he has a big part to play in ensuring that they are up to the standard that they have always been.
“While at Clarity I feel like my sight problems disappear as everyone is equal here – no matter what their disability.”
Natasha has been partially sighted since birth. Before joining Clarity, she worked as a front line receptionist for a dentist’s office for 12 years. However she did not feel supported with her disability and decided to look for another employer who would be more understanding.
Her work adviser informed her about Clarity, and she is now a member of the team working two days a week on the factory floor and in the office helping with admin work.
Initially Natasha was worried about working directly with blind people because her eyesight was worsening (with the possibility of it going completely) and she thought that might upset her. However after meeting her visually impaired colleagues she now understands that life is not over if you lose your sight, you can still accomplish a lot and there is help available: “I might not be able to see through my eyes but I can see through everything else”.
She enjoys working at Clarity and is glad that people understand her world and are able to sympathise with her and the difficulties she has to overcome. Natasha feels at ease knowing that her productivity is no longer restricted by her disability, as the organisation is fully equipped for visually impaired people and that has provided her with much more hope and independence.
She said her job is hard work but the environment is very warm and inviting and it is a pleasure to come to work. Being at Clarity has increased her confidence and improved her wellbeing:
“I am glad that there are organisations like Clarity who help people like me not only to have meaningful employment but also to meet likeminded people who can help and who can become your friends for life”.
“As a disabled person, CLARITY has enabled me to feel in control and independent – able to pay my way in society.”Alex
“After being unemployed for many years, now being trusted with duties I may have never been considered for has helped me gain self-confidence.”Mandy
“Working at CLARITY has given me the confidence and skills to operate a switchboard. I feel a sense of worth.”Stephen