Orla Fitzgerald, a member of ECL’s sensory team, has had quite the journey to becoming a Rehabilitation Worker for people with a visual impairment. In 2020, Orla moved from Ireland to Essex following her qualification from Birmingham City University.
"There are many aspects of my job that I love."
“There are many aspects of my job that I love. it is great to see our service users become more confident in their own abilities and knowing I have helped them become more independent is very rewarding”.
When Orla travelled to Birmingham to complete the in-person learning modules of her university course, she had no idea that she would meet people who would change the entire direction of her life. “I met two lovely ladies during my in-person placements who were taking the course as part of their apprenticeship with ECL,” says Orla. “They clearly loved their work, so when they told me about a vacancy, I decided to do some research. I was instantly impressed by ECL’s ethos and loved the idea of being part of its sensory team, so I took a chance and applied.”
Because of the pandemic Orla was interviewed remotely but her personality and enthusiasm shone through, and she was offered the job. “Luckily my family were hugely supportive of my decision to pursue a job ‘overseas’.
Orla received a warm welcome from the sensory team at ECL, with endless advice and support on offer and no question left unanswered. Everyone in the team has been very supportive from the start and I’ve made some great friends. “I have learnt so much since joining the sensory team and gained valuable first-hand experience of working with people with sensory impairments,” says Orla.
“When I first meet my customers they can be quite down and struggling to accept their sight loss. After working with them for weeks or months in some cases, we’re able to change their outlook for the better and give them the tools they need to navigate the world safely and independently again,” she adds. “There are many aspects about my job that I love but I think this is the most rewarding part”.