Rhian Airey

Supported Employment Coach
Rhian, a supported employment coach

What is your role?

I am a Supported Employment Coach at SeeAbility, working in the Ready, Willing and Able supported employment team.

What is your work history? 

I joined SeeAbility in May 2019 after relocating to Bristol from the Midlands. I’m a welsh girl that wanted to move closer to my hometown of Cardiff. I’ve always loved Bristol and so glad I’ve chosen to live there and have my forever home. 

I have 15 years’ experience working in the youth, criminal justice and social care sector. Whilst I was completing my degree in Youth and Community Education, I volunteered as a youth worker in a pupil referral unit for year before being offered my first role working as a youth worker. I have moved around and worked in different sectors and environments from project worker in hostels to teaching in female prisons to now working in SeeAbility, which is completely different and I love it. 

What inspires you?

I struggled in school with anything academic, I can put my hand to anything creative but academic writing was a really stressful time and only in my 20s did I find out that I was dyslexic. In school I was repeatedly told by teachers I would not do anything with my life. This is something that has always stayed with me and what motivates me to never stop until I have achieved what I want.

One of my proudest moments is graduating from university and proving to those teachers and people that I can do it! This is something that I pass on to other people in my coaching. I work hard to enable others, to help them to see that they can also achieve anything they want in life. Seeing the people I coach achieve their career aspirations is what motivates me, it’s an amazing and rewarding feeling. 

What is your favourite thing to do outside of work? 

I love live music, there is no better feeling than seeing your favourite band live in a field with the sun shining and dancing with your wellies on. I try and see as many bands as I can throughout the year and attend festivals, Glastonbury is the most amazing place I have ever been. 

I love to see my family and friends as much as I can, eating out in new restaurants and trying new food. I love to ride my bike around Bristol as I’m still exploring the new city I live in. 

When I’m at home I love to have cuddles with my little dog Gizmo and watch TV, anything from British crime dramas and documentaries, rom coms to reality trash TV, whoops! I am guilty of loving such as show as Love Island. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

“Life is a wave, you just have to ride it and go with the flow.”

Tell us something about yourself that nobody else would know? 

When I was 10 years old I competed in the world cheerleading champions in Germany in which we came in 2nd place. I was always the adventurous one on top on the pyramid being thrown around in the air. Lots of good fun. 

I competed in athletics from 12 years to 21 years old in the 300m hurdles, 200 meters and high jump. When I was 16 years I was selected by Cardiff athletics club to carry the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games torch through my hometown of Cardiff complete with police escort. That year the Commonwealth Games was sponsored by Cadburys – you can only imagine the outfit. Bright purple and yellow, which meant I ended up looking like a running Creme Egg!