When Jurgen first made contact with RNIB he had recently lost his sight as a result of a brain tumour. Jurgen was employed at the time, and had to take sickness absence as a result of ongoing invasive surgery.
However, just as Jurgen was looking to return to work with the support of occupational health, the coronavirus lockdown began and this stopped him returning to the workplace. He was subsequently furloughed and a few months later was made redundant. Jurgen reached out to the RNIB Employment Service for support through this tricky time and was teamed up with Emma Griffiths RNIB Employment Advisor.
Jurgen: RNIB’s employment team was an important sounding board and ally as I worked through figuring out where I wanted to go next.
During the furlough period Jurgen remained proactive in connecting with his professional networks. These connections were to provide potential new employment opportunities for the future. The furlough period also allowed Jurgen time to reflect on his future career and what he would like to do if he was required to change direction.
Jurgen now has a fantastic new job with a very accommodating and supportive employer. He is working for a not-for-profit organisation, supporting individuals with protected characteristics and placing them into work.
RNIB Connect Radio’s Toby Davey caught up with both Emma and Jurgen to find out more about Jurgen’s employment story, the type of support and advice Emma and the Employment Team were able to offer Jurgen and how they are able to support other visually impaired people who might be going through a similar situation.