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Donna Simpson Sparkles.

20 years on, Donna can shine!


Family Support Worker, Donna Simpson Sparkles at Work!


Donna Simpson has worked for Nottingham City Council as a family support worker for almost 20 years. After recently finding out she has dyslexia, Donna received funding for equipment and training through the Access to Work scheme. Here Donna shares her experience of how she had reaped the benefits of this wonderful scheme.


“The support that I received through Access to Work and from Hands-Free computing Ltd has brought back my feeling of self-worth and job satisfaction once again.  I was provided with software and training from Hands Free Computing. The trainer assigned to me was Graham Wright who, I feel enhanced my learning further because I felt that he ‘just got me’ and understood me from the outset.


DMS“As a result I now feel I am able to work on par with my colleagues, which is something I’ve always struggled to do, even though I never doubted I was excellent at the practical side of my job.  I’ve always been competent at the hands-on aspect, but due to the nature of the work I do as a Family Support Worker, I am required to produce lots of notes and write reports frequently. I now no longer dread this side of the job; if anything I love it, which is something I never thought I would say!


“I have been through the education system and worked in my post for nearly 20 years without even knowing I had dyslexia but to find out I have dyslexia has validated why I had struggled.  So to have my needs assessed and the appropriate support identified has been for me, personally, life changing and for the first time I can truly say I am alive (cliché but true)!


“I have experienced a noticeable improvement in my ability to retain information, my problem solving skills are clear and rapid and I am more organised and I no longer find it difficult to complete tasks quickly.  The equipment is so easy to use and this has allowed my brain to have more capacity to always be on my ‘A Game’.  Thank you for giving me my sparkle back!”


Donna was provided with ProAccess (speech recognition software), an Olympus voice recorder and Sonority software, TextHelp Read&Write Gold (literacy software) and a Livescribe Echo pen with My Script software.


Since receiving her equipment and training Donna has received some fantastic feedback from a senior manager within Nottingham City Council who says,


“Donna demonstrates really heSnipImagelpful and supportive behaviour to her peer group by offering a lot of resources that she has collected and then shared.  The resources are of excellent standard and really helpful for others.  Not only that, she also promoted the positive attitude about becoming self-resilience at work and taking responsibility for one’s emotional wellbeing and resilience by being proactive and using techniques such as mindfulness etc. that she talked about with passion, true encouragement, experience and enthusiasm.


“Donna talked about setting up a regular time within the office in which looking after each other and self is promoted! I was really impressed and grateful for Donna’s input in the peer supervision session and want to thank her and acknowledge her good practice and positive attitude to really helpful ways of managing the work we do and supporting each other!”

Project Details

  • Date 23rd February 2016
  • Tags Case Studies

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