Gayton woman who suffered serious injuries in riding accident helped by King’s Lynn advisors to new career path

Mariah Stewart was supported in her return to work by Sharif Sharif and Andrew Mussell from Ingeus in Lynn. ANL-160927-151425001
Mariah Stewart was supported in her return to work by Sharif Sharif and Andrew Mussell from Ingeus in Lynn. ANL-160927-151425001
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A talented rider from Gayton who suffered serious injuries in a riding accident four years ago has battled her way back to fitness and found a rewarding career, with help from a Lynn services provider.

Mariah Stewart was at Easton College preparing for a career working with horses when in May 2012 a horse she was riding spooked and sent her flying backwards onto a concrete floor. Her life-changing accident led to a five hour emergency operation to treat a bleed on her brain and a fractured skull.

She was placed into an induced coma for nine days and narrowly missed being paralysed. She was wearing safety equipment, including her riding hat, which she credits as saving her life.

Undergoing a further operation to fit a titanium plate in her head a year later, and after learning to walk again, Mariah’s thoughts turned to work. She had extensive equestrian work experience, including a spell at The Royal Stud, but struggled to find work despite actively applying for up to 50 jobs a week.

“I hadn’t worked since early 2012 and my confidence was at rock bottom after everything I’d been through,” said Mariah, now 22. “I was referred to Ingeus in Lynn and was amazed at the different range of support they were able to provide, both to help manage my health and improve my employability.”

Ingeus has a network of more than 70 offices, including its base in Lynn’s Railway Road, and delivers employment and health programmes, services for young people, training and skills support,

Mariah worked with an Ingeus employment advisor to look at possible career choices and, based on her previous experience, a career in care seemed a good way forward.

A specialist Ingeus physical health advisor was called in to support Mariah’s return to work. Mariah was given advice on relaxation, goal setting, and managing her condition and attended Ingeus wellbeing workshops on sleep and routine and the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. In August 2015, Mariah gained her first permanent job as a support worker for a local community care provider. She said: “Ingeus helped me build my confidence and made me realise that I had valuable skills to offer to employers. Thanks to Ingeus, when I saw a support worker vacancy closer to my home, I had the skills and motivation to move on alone.”

Mariah now works for the Regard Group at a supported living service in Gayton where she is a support worker who helps residents to progress in life and hopefully one day live independently.