Theresa volunteering in The Brain Charity Cafe

Former care home worker Teresa Randles, 55, was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2011 after Job Centre staff realised she struggled with writing and her short term memory.

This diagnosis brought sudden clarity to experiences she’d been having her whole life: being called stupid, struggling at school before leaving age 15 and feeling forced to abandon her successful job as a carer because she couldn’t keep up with the admin and digital technology.

The paperwork piling up and use of tablet computers in the workplace caused Teresa extreme anxiety, leading to her having to take an extended period off work.

This is when she discovered The Brain Charity, first volunteering in our Brain Food Café every week before joining The Directions Project.

Liverpool resident Teresa said: “For me to learn something, I need it repeated over and over. It can take me quite a bit of time to pick up new things. My short term memory can be a massive problem when learning.

“My manager at the care home wanted to find a way to keep me working there as he said I was great with everyone, but the admin was just too difficult to work around at that time. After the meeting I was shaking, but The Brain Charity kept me together.”

Teresa 320As part of Directions, Teresa was enrolled on another employment course which resulted in her receiving a brand new smartphone and learning Zoom - as well as taking her first ever selfie (pictured).

This allowed her to develop her digital skills so she is better placed to work with technology in her future career.

She also got the chance to record her own podcast, despite not knowing what a podcast was before.

Teresa said: “Now, I want to work supporting children with learning difficulties. It was hard for me growing up with dyslexia and knowing what I had to go through, I want to do what I can to care for people going through that.

“Struggling with the written side of jobs can been a massive barrier, but I know with The Brain Charity’s help that I can get there.”