A DISABLED woman who thought she’d had her dream of working in childcare denied has secured a volunteer role at a nursery against the odds.

Erin McCracken from Johnstone has been paralysed on her right side her whole life, after she developed a blood clot during a complicated birth. 

Erin, who also suffers from epilepsy, had to receive extra support throughout her education but always aspired to chase her dreams and get into childcare.

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However, it seemed as if that chance had been snatched away from her when she was advised while at college not to go down that road due to her disability.

But Erin battled against adversity and now, with the help of Fair Start Scotland, she has secured a volunteer role at Woodlands Community Centre in Linwood.

Erin said: “I have always wanted to work in childcare but was put off when I was told I couldn’t.

“This really hit my confidence, but with help from James and the team at Fair Start, I attended mindset training and started to feel positive about my prospects and being able to pursue my dream career.

“I’ve always had a passion for childcare and studied it at college. When I was told I couldn’t work in this field because of my disability, I started to feel really down. I found it unacceptable.

“I’ve always known deep down it’s what I wanted to do, but I could never find the right opportunity.”

Fair Start Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government, is an employment scheme managed by the Wise Group in the west of Scotland. It helps people into work by providing them with a dedicated support network and expert advice.

Thanks to the help the team supplied to Erin, she is now volunteering in Linwood 20 hours a week and hopes to secure a full-time role in childcare.

The 20-year-old said she has always been determined to not let her disability hold her back.

Erin added: “I’ll never accept I can’t do something. I will always give it a try. 

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“I get through day-to-day life okay and the staff at Woodlands are really understanding.

“I am loving it there. 

“Getting this placement, with help from the Fair Start Scotland team, has changed my life for the better.”

For more information about Fair Start Scotland in the west, go to www.thewisegroup.co.uk/fairstart