Sitting in a quiet TURSA office in Southport, I had the privilege of chatting with Kitty, a vibrant young woman with a passion for life and an unwavering spirit. Her journey, intertwined with the guidance of her disability advocate, Harley, sheds light on the barriers faced by neurodivergent individuals and the transformative power of support networks.

From Fear to Friendship: Small Steps

Kitty’s journey began at TURSA, where a unique program caught her attention. Designed for unemployed youth under 25, it promised a stepping stone toward independence. Kitty, with her love for fashion, hesitantly stepped into the program. The encounter that followed would change her life unknowingly.
“I was terrified at first,” Kitty recalls, her eyes lighting up. “But then this sweet girl walked up and introduced herself and guided me in the right direction. We became best friends, and while the fashion course didn’t work out, it gave me something more valuable. Confidence to try and lifelong friendship”.

Unmasking the Barriers

Kitty’s journey wasn’t without hurdles. Diagnosed with autism, high anxiety, ADHD, dyslexia, and depression, she faced a unique set of challenges. “Sometimes I cannot find the words,” she admits. “But with Harley’s guidance and the right support, I’ve learned to embrace my differences and focus on my strengths.”

Harley's Role: A Lifeline

TURSA, an organisation dedicated to Disability Employment Services (DES-ESS), acts as a vital communication bridge, fostering understanding and support for individuals like Kitty. At the heart of this endeavour is Harley, Kitty’s TURSA Disability Advocate. Harley’s role transcends mere advocacy; it’s about empowerment and transformation. With unwavering dedication, Harley navigates the complexities of Kitty’s disability, ensuring she not only survives but thrives in a challenging environment.

Their approach is solution-oriented, addressing barriers head-on and providing essential resources. From managing manic depression to providing practical supports and navigating workplace dynamics, Harley’s guidance is a beacon of independence for Kitty, bridging the gap between her unique needs and the often-demanding world around her.

Harley proactively engaged with potential employers to secure an appropriate role for Kitty. Recognising that Kitty’s previous job had reduced her working hours, Harley identified a new opportunity that was not only closer to Kitty’s home but also offered more weekly hours. This new role also allowed Kitty to acquire new skills and progress in her career. As a result, Kitty now enjoys a steady income, which empowers her to pursue financial independence and fund her overseas trips.

The Road Ahead

With a regular income, Kitty dreams of travelling. Japan beckons next month, and California or Japan again awaits in October. “Traveling keeps me sane,” she grins. And Disney World? Pure magic!”

Whether your barriers are Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression or some other Disability.  The team at TURSA will provide you with a safe space to talk, decompress and find your way gently and with empathy.  Our goal is to assist you achieve your goals through work and independence.