Janette talking to her case worker Donna

Janette's Story - Specialist Health and Work Service

2nd Jun 2017

When Janette faced the hardest decision of her working life, she turned to our Specialist Health and Work Service for support

Work was Janette’s life. For 28 years she worked for Marks & Spencer as a Visual Manager and she loved it. Janette had beaten breast cancer in 2005, but when the disease returned in 2015, she was forced to make one of the most heart-wrenching decisions of her life. Thankfully, it wasn’t a decision she faced alone.

It’s a cliché to say that cancer turns your life upside down, but it’s true. Dealing with the sudden reality that you have a life-threatening disease is more than enough, but many people also face additional stress and difficult challenges when it comes to their working lives. That’s why Beatson Cancer Charity is so committed to funding the Specialist Health and Work Service.

Whether a patient is in work, returning to work or facing a difficult decision about their career, our Specialist Health and Work Service is here to support them. Dedicated case workers can help people with a variety of work-related issues, whether it’s advising on sick pay, helping someone find a new job or working with an employer on a return to work plan.

Janette talking to her case worker Donna

When Janette first met her case worker, Donna, it was clear how much Janette’sjob meant to her. “On that first day I was actually a wreck and I just cried and cried”, she explained.

During those initial meetings all Donna could do was listen, provide reassurance and offer comforting words and guidance. It was important to give Janette time to come to terms with the fact that she might not be able to return to work.

When the time was right, Donna sensitively talked to Janette about whether she should go back to work and what that might mean. She also encouraged Janette to think about other ways she could use her creative skills or think about voluntary work. Every meeting was focused on helping Janette move forward positively.

Moving on

Janette’s colleagues organised a retirement party for her at Cross Basket Castle. They gave her presents, a card and a photo album filled with special memories of Christmas parties and nights out together. It was an emotional day for Janette, but it also helped her to move on.

Janette is now enjoying her ill health retirement

The retirement party helped to give me closure. I could finally accept that I wasn’t a part of things anymore and I was OK with that. Now I am filling my days with things I enjoy doing. I’m just so grateful to Donna for being there for me throughout it all”, explained Janette.

Our Specialist Health and Work Service can only continue to support people like Janette with your help. Please donate online today. Thank you.

Your support in action

£75 can help someone stay in work, return to work or resolve a work-related issue, by paying for three hours of advice from a case worker at our Specialist Health and Work Service. If you know someone who might need the help of the Specialist Health and Work Service, please call us on 0141 212 0505.