At 67, Wade plans to continue working “as long as I am able,” and maintains his passion for “assisting other seniors and persons with disabilities within my community.”
Diagnosed with osteoarthritis (new window), fibromyalgia (new window), and reactive arthritis (new window), Wade also has “restless leg syndrome (new window), migraine headaches (new window), sciatica (new window), and a bilateral hearing loss (new window) of 90%.”
Despite his extensive volunteer experience in youth services, drug and alcohol counselling, crisis intervention, victim’s services and seniors peer support, Wade found his lack of formal education to be an additional barrier to employment. “I have no master’s degree (new window), so… I am not ‘considered eligible’ to counsel persons with addiction issues.”
When he first heard about Neil Squire Society’s (new window) Employ-Ability Program from Kelowna Community Resources (new window), Wade “wanted to return to work as a part time employee in the retail sales field or in some capacity as an Addictions or Seniors Counsellor.”
Just months after becoming a Neil Squire Society client, the change in Wade’s attitude speaks for itself: “I feel more confident despite my disabilities and health issues. I am proving I have extensive sales and marketing experience and knowledge as a mature worker in performing my services to a respective employer.”
Wade recently achieved his employment goal. “I am currently employed part-time with Sigmadek Ltd. (new window) in Kelowna, BC as a Design Sales Agent. I assist homeowners across Canada in designing an awesome patio or sundeck for their enjoyment.”
Wade also found a way to put his counselling skills to use. “I am very passionate in working with the seniors population and with persons with disabilities,” He now represents the Central Okanagan District as an Advisory Counsellor to the BC Seniors Advocate.
Wade comments that staff at Neil Squire Society’s Kelowna office were “instrumental in assisting me with finding suitable employment,” and “always willing to extend themselves to help me overcome my barriers, providing me with on-going friendly support… they are truly amazing folks!!”