Sharon’s path to employment – and how we can help you too


Sharon Fitzhenry moved into one of our Spelthorne properties just as the country was locking down in March. Having recently been made redundant, she was struggling to afford life’s essentials and was in desperate need of furniture for her new flat. Fast forward 8 months and Sharon’s life has been dramatically transformed. Here’s her inspiring story – and how we can help you too.

I felt like I had nowhere to turn

“Being in lockdown in unfamiliar surroundings; with no furniture or income to cover bills was tough emotionally,” Sharon explains. “I felt like I had nowhere to turn and was feeling desperate.”

It was at this point that Thomas Tora, Tenancy Sustainment Officer at A2Dominion, contacted Sharon to help support her in her time of need. He set her up with a local food bank and contacted the Runnymede Besom charity who helped furnish Sharon’s flat with donated items.

“Tom’s support was amazing and I was overwhelmed by how kind he and the Besom team were,” says Sharon. “I was able to make my flat feel like a home and, thanks to Tom, I saw that that there were people in the community and at A2Dominion who were able to help.”

After recognising that Sharon was unemployed and desperate to get back to work, Thomas referred her to Vanessa Loveridge, Employment Adviser at A2Dominion.

Getting job ready

“When Sharon came to see me in our Staines office, I could see that she was going through a difficult time that had left her feeling very low on confidence,”  Vanessa explains. “Yet underneath the sadness was a bubbly person who just needed someone to provide the motivation to start her search for work.”

Vanessa’s support for Sharon included updating her CV, honing her interview skills and staying in regular contact as they began to search online for jobs. “Sharon really came into her own at this point,” says Vanessa. “Even as the pandemic was continuing to make life difficult, Sharon stayed positive and applied for every relevant position that was available. She was beginning to believe in herself again.”

For Sharon, Vanessa’s help in finding employment would be life-changing - but having someone to share her difficult situation with was equally important.

“It was just so nice to have someone to talk to who wasn’t judging me, who listened to how I was feeling and to what I was going through,” explains Sharon. “Speaking to Vanessa really boosted my confidence - not just to find a job, but also to meet new people and feel valued again.”

Part of the team

After several months of applying, Sharon’s perseverance paid off and she was successfully offered 3 roles - 2 of which were with A2Dominion. In August, she accepted the role of Kitchen Assistant at Beechwood Court, one of our extra care housing schemes for older people. She hasn’t looked back since.

“Beechwood Court is such a positive environment to work in as my colleagues are fantastic and I feel that I’ve now got something to get up for in the mornings,” says Sharon.

Lynn McKernan, Sharon’s manager at Beechwood Court, is delighted to have her on board.

“Sharon’s been a fantastic addition to the staff at Beechwood Court and is now very much part of the kitchen team,” Lynn said. “Her success is a great example of the support services we have for A2Dominion customers and she really deserves this role with us.”

A different person

In 8 eventful months, Sharon has gone from feeling desperate and alone to gaining a new job, new friends and renewed self-confidence. “I can’t thank A2Dominion enough for all they’ve done for me,” Sharon says. “Especially Vanessa who has been there for me every step of the way and who I could not have gotten my life back on track without.”

For Vanessa, it’s Sharon who should be taking all the credit.

“Sharon is a completely different person to the one I met in March and is now happy, confident and smiling,” Vanessa says. “All she needed was someone to believe in her and I’m very proud of her for what she’s achieved.”

Need a little help?

At A2Dominion we don’t just provide housing – we support our communities. We can help if you’re looking for work, struggling with your finances, or want to improve your skills. Simply contact our friendly Customer Contact team and we’ll put you through to the right person.