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Les Strachan

Across a career of 27 years I worked in the Public Transport Unit with Grampian Region Council and a 999 call handler with Grampian Police, progressing to Deputy Shift Manager.  I was then struck down with a mystery illness which resulted in me suffering severe chronic pain all down my left side.


I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord), a rare condition which affects about 1 in a million and a sister condition to M.S.  This left me with mobility problems, which meant I had to use a crutch on a permanent basis.  Eventually the demands of my job and coping with the pain became too much and I was forced to retire from full-time work, on the grounds of ill health.


After a while I realised sitting about all day surrounded by so much pain was doing me more harm than good and I set about sourcing some part-time work.  This would get me back among adult company on a daily basis and help take my mind off the pain.  I was offered a relief admin role with Aberdeenshire Council in 2016.  This was a positive step which had a big impact for me at the time and for my future.


I am now working as an Admin Support Assistant within the Members Building Reception.  I enjoy the fact I am customer facing, meaning I am always meeting/greeting visitors and speaking with people, which helps take my mind of my constant pain.  I feel proud to hold a position that allows visitors and staff alike to see the Council promote equal opportunities.


My employment with Aberdeenshire Council has helped a lot with my self-esteem and confidence – which was almost at rock bottom – getting the opportunity to prove myself in an office environment, has been a huge boost for me.

Les Strachan, Admin Support Assistant