Bellshill woman’s struggle to find a job after 2012 closure of factory for disabled workers finally comes to an end

Finlay Bruce from North Lanarkshire Council and Jody Stevens from Ingeus join Lorna Gibson on patrol.

Finlay Bruce from North Lanarkshire Council and Jody Stevens from Ingeus join Lorna Gibson on patrol.

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A disabled jobseeker from Bellshill has revealed her frustrating four-year search to find work after the UK Government closed Remploy.

Lorna Gibson has epilepsy and worked for 25 years in the Netherton factory for disabled workers until its closure in 2012.

Despite not having a seizure for more than 25 years and her condition being medically controlled, Lorna struggled to find employment and instead made good use of her time volunteering for a local charity shop.

Lorna said: “I applied for hundreds of jobs, but got nowhere.

“Although I’d worked most of my life, I didn’t have any up to date skills to offer employers. Once you’ve been unemployed for a long time it feels like no one will give you a chance.”

Lorna was referred to employment specialists Ingeus in Motherwell and promptly brushed up her CV and computer skills and attended workshops on confidence building and job searching.

When Ingeus advised Lorna of a school crossing patrol vacancy at Glencairn Primary, she jumped at the chance and was promptly employed by North Lanarkshire Council.

Lorna now conscientiously patrols Airbles Street in Motherwell ensuring that children and other pedestrians cross safely.

She said: “It’s great being able to serve the local community and do something that keeps me fit and active.

“The parents and children are really friendly and I love having a purpose in life again.”

Senior officer for school patrols Finlay Bruce added: “Lorna was interested and enthusiastic at the interview and I had no hesitation in offering her a job. We don’t pre-judge anyone on their background and we’ve recruited a reliable, friendly and well-liked member of the team.”