Realise ensures long Covid no barrier to success


Despite suffering with long Covid, 23 year old Eleanor was able to complete her qualifications with support from her employer and Realise.

Eleanor struggled with extreme fatigue and brain fog.

Nursery practitioner Eleanor is one of an estimated two million Brits suffering with long Covid – yet, with the support of her employer and Realise, she is progressing with her career.

Eleanor caught Covid during the height of the pandemic and, more than two years on, is still experiencing extreme fatigue and brain fog.

Despite this, the 23 year old still managed to complete her level 2 and 3 Early Years Educator qualifications with Realise while at The Spinney Day Nursery in Chester.

Praised for our approach to supporting Eleanor.

John Thomson, Managing Director of The Spinney, praised Realise for engaging with Eleanor and helping formulate a plan of action that was achievable alongside her condition.

He said: “It became clear that Eleanor was suffering from deep-seated anxiety about not being able to attend work due to being diagnosed with long Covid.

“As a result, I decided to focus on something Eleanor was able to do at her own pace and requested she focus on her level 3 work which she could complete at home but would give her something to focus on that allowed her experience some satisfaction in that she was making progress.

“We were determined to find a way for Eleanor to complete her certificate and the support of Realise was crucial. Eleanor’s tutor, Kim Gleave, had been very supportive of her prior to the Covid outbreak but her approach in the latter stage was first class.

“Kim was emotionally attuned to Eleanor’s situation and, as a result, got the very best from her without overstretching her.”

Eleanor’s hard work paid off.

Eleanor went on to sit the final Professional Discussion element of her qualification to complete her studies – and passed with a Distinction.

She was awarded a special certificate from Realise to reward her tenacity.

Eleanor is now continuing her apprenticeship at the setting and is considering moving onto a level 5 or 6 qualification in the future.

“Any mental excursion makes me very tired and there are times I struggle to concentrate,” Eleanor explained.

“Despite this, my employer, my assessor and Realise have all been very supportive. They’ve continuously checked in on me and encouraged me to help get the best out of my situation and ensured that I completed my level 3 qualification.

“Through everything they’ve made sure I feel part of the workforce.”

Eleanor, a keen Everton FC fan, urged others to consider the apprenticeship route. She said: “It’s an amazing alternative where you can learn valuable skills as well as receiving formal training and qualifications. It keeps your future options wide open.”


John continued:

“The effort that Karen Derbyshire (Operations Director) put into this challenging situation was most commendable, and Kim understood the difference between education and training.”

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