North Halifax Partnership is proud to be a Disability Confident Employer (Level 2 Award)

We are pleased to announce that North Halifax Partnership is now a Disability Confident Employer. This means we ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and aspirations.

Testimonial – Zain Ghani

Hello, my name is Zain, and I have recently been appointed as the new Community Partnerships Manager based in the Communities Programme Team. Some of you will know I have a stammer, and others won’t. I wish to take this opportunity to share a little bit about how I have come to embrace my stammer over the years, what this has been like for me in the workplace and how North Halifax Partnership have been supportive employer.

How do I embrace my stammer?

Roughly 1 in 100 adults have a stammer and being that one person in a room speaking with a stammer can be a daunting experience (or used to be). The task of talking on a Teams call and knowing when to interject during a busy flow of conversation to making a phone call and trying not to sound like a distorted telephone connection can be quite challenging. These are some examples of how my stammer can be tricky to manage but this can be changed by my approach and outlook on my stammer itself. A stammer is essentially a different way of speaking (or commonly referred to as a neurological condition if classified under the medicalised model). My approach and outlook on my stammer is very positive and I decided to use it to my advantage. This has consisted of me taking steps towards a deeper level of self-acceptance, personal growth and stepping into the unknown which has enabled me to see much progress and success, mentally and emotionally, and knowing things are not as scary as they seem.

Life in the Workplace

My stammer in the workplace has been accepted by my team which is a great deal for me, and I am very grateful for their patience (especially on days where my stammer decides to not play ball and colleague banter turns into a long-winded pause, completely ruining my joke). Being genuine, authentic, and asking what I need from my colleagues clearly from the outset has supported me to do my role effectively and feel at ease. It is normal for a change in staffing over the course of your working career but taking the time to inform new colleagues about my stammer and leaving the conversation opened has supported me in building a stronger team cohesion and has encouraged others to share and disclose their own differences.

How have NHP been a supportive employer?

  • Given me the flexibility to schedule my working day around what works best for me (using a variety of communication methods and utilising the flexibility of my role).
  • Management have encouraged open discussions around my stammer through supervisions and constantly offer encouragement, support, and reassurance.
  • I have had the opportunity to raise the awareness of stammering to other teams, colleagues, and volunteers in the organisation through my very own stammering awareness session.
  • I have the autonomy to contribute to work-related tasks and meetings and give me the opportunities to stretch out of my comfort zone.

The theme of my testimonial is a brief overview of how I have made the first move to communicate. Embracing my difference and clearly informing colleagues what I need from them to make my life easier. This has been a long journey, and it will continue to be throughout my life. I would be happy to have a chat with anyone if they wanted to discuss my journey in more detail –

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