Access to Employment Working with People with Learning Disabilities
Newsletter Issue 6 Access to Employment brings together employers and jobseekers. Our aim is to enable both parties to form a good working relationship. We do this by matching employees to the right paid jobs and by providing one to one support through our team of support workers.
Darren Brazier MP for Training and Jobs with the Parliament Project Exeter and East Devon March 2010 Hello my name is Darren Brazier. I am the learning disability MP for Training and Jobs. I am good at listening and speaking up at meetings. I used to go to Exeter College 2 days a week to learn Life Skills, but this has now finished. I used to work in an Oxfam charity shop, hanging up the clothes. I would like a different job, I like cooking and gardening … so maybe a job along those lines and I want to get paid for it. I have been to the Job Centre, but I felt too shy to talk to the lady about what I wanted. I want to help other people find work that they want to do. We need more support to help us find jobs.
“We Work to Help You Work”
Exeter Kay Baker admin assistant with Devon Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) training team Kay has been with the Devon Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) training team for over a year now; she was initially seconded but now has a contract with the team which is reviewed every 6 months. This has recently been renewed until the end of August 2010. Kay has worked for Devon County Council since 2004. She initially worked as an assistant in Sam Newman’s office where she carried out clerical duties. With organisational changes Kay’s role became less clear, but during that time she carried out a fair amount of photocopying for Anita Davidson who is the DSCB training co-ordinator. She found the work that Kay was doing invaluable and after some meetings, it was agreed that a secondment would be arranged. When this was due to end Anita’s Manager, Karen Brown, agreed to a 6 month contract. Kay is an important member of the team and has now progressed to putting together training materials for safeguarding courses. She has to make sure that each training box has the correct number of case studies etc for the number of people on the course. Kay gets on with her work and is always very focused on the job. She knows that Anita, Kristy and Annette are there if she has problems; sometimes she needs help when the photocopier jams. Kay says, ‘Anita is a good boss, always there if I get stuck.’ This small, but very busy team is made up of Anita, Kristy and Annette with Karen and Linda managing the whole team; Kristy said ‘Kay does a great job and is part of the team’ and Annette added ‘Kay helps us a lot.’ Jackie Makin (Senior Support Worker)
Access to Employment Crediton Pauline Short Pauline has been working at Peck & Strong in Crediton for four months now and I thought it a good idea to catch up with John Peck, Pauline and her family to find out how well it’s all going. John is owner and founder of the Peck & Strong Company that provide hand baked goodies across most of the UK to cafes, universities, garden centres and delicatessens. John is very pleased with Pauline’s progress. She needed training and supervision during her first few weeks and is now managing the job extremely well on her own. Pauline’s job is operating the industrial dishwasher, cleaning cake tins, flapjack trays, mixing bowls, utensils as well as wiping down the tables, walls, fridges and freezers. John says Pauline has settled really well, can multi-task and has taken the initiative in getting on with different jobs. She has become a valued member of their team and has made friends with all the staff. He is sure that Pauline will remain in her job for a long time. I visited Pauline’s family at their home to see what effect her job has had on their family life. Pauline’s Mum and brother Ivor have seen a huge difference in Pauline, commenting that it has filled a large gap in her life. Pauline’s confidence has returned along with her bubbly outlook on life and not being afraid to meet people. She loves to talk about her job, knows all the staff by name and relates little anecdotes on what has happened during the day. Mrs Short says “We think Pauline has done very well to manage and cope with a job of so many hours after all she has been through. The family and myself all hope everything will continue and that Pauline’s health problems stay under control to allow her to do so. Pauline seems to be very happy with her life. We are very proud of her.“ Pauline returned home full of smiles and very happy to pose for a photograph with her Mum. It was clear to see that Pauline has become a lot happier, exchanging teasing comments with both her Mum and brother. Pauline works from 10.30 – 4.30 five days a week. She receives DLA and Working Tax Credits and is financially better off. Pauline is already planning how she will spend her wages and is also saving towards a family holiday later this year. Eileen Johnston (Senior Support Worker Crediton) 3
South And West Devon Man of all trades! Andy continues to work at Burts, but there have been some changes. Andy found the variety of stacking patterns in the Production Team a bit hard to do and needed constant support from his team. Burts Management were keen to keep Andy so I discussed other work possibilities with his link worker , suggesting sweeping, shredding or cleaning bus duties, which Andy has previous experience in, and is happy to do. The Office Team set up a trial day for Andy to clear their shredding. I supported Andy who quickly set up a system of removing staples and tags, and filled the bags very quickly. After overcoming some problems with removing and replacing the shredder bags, Andy managed to work very efficiently filling 9 bags. The office staff are all very pleased with Andy as it saves them time to do other work , and he vacuums the area when heâ€™s finished, leaving it clean and tidy before he goes home. Other staff at Burts have been hearing of Andyâ€™s talents and he is very excited at being asked to wash the pool car on alternate weeks, which we check out this week. Andy certainly is a man of all trades ! By Kay Discombe (Senior Support Worker)
East Exmouth Team About a month ago the Exmouth team began working with Daniel Bickle. Dan told me that he really, really wanted to find a paid job as soon as possible because he wanted to save up for a holiday – and the sooner the better! I asked Dan about the type of work he would like to do, Dan said “Anything, I just really want a paid job!” Dan said that he is free to work most times including weekdays and weekends. Because Dan is so flexible and willing to do most jobs it didn’t take long to organise a work trial. One week later Dan started a 3 day trial at McDonalds in Exmouth, working in the dining area. Customer service is very important to McDonalds and luckily Dan has a wonderful personality and a big smile. He passed the work trial and was asked to officially apply for the job online. After passing the online customer service and personality tests, Dan was invited back to McDonalds for a formal interview. The interview was full of tricky questions about experiences of working within a team. Dan gave some good answers including an example of when he hurt himself during his Ten Tors experience and chose to struggle on to the finish line – despite being offered a lift in a Sea King Helicopter!! The manager was really interested to hear about the clubs and football team that Dan belongs to; employers like to know about their potential new employee’s social life, as it shows how you will fit in with the rest of the team. Dan’s interview was successful and he started his first paid shift on Easter Saturday - it was very busy! He gets on really well with his new colleagues and the manager is sending him on a Customer Care Course supported by Aimee Booth – Dan’s Access To Employment Job Coach. Dan travels by train from his home in Whimple to Exmouth, then catches a bus to the restaurant. His determination to find a job has paid off and we hope he will be booking that holiday soon! Matt has taken on another challenge! Matthew Croft’s temporary Christmas job at Debenhams ended at the start of the year so he has been looking for extra work on top of his 8 hours a week evening shelf stacking job at Sainsburys. Mark Hilder, Access to Employment Support Worker, heard about a job at Chunk (Pie & Pasty factory in Ottery St Mary). We discussed what was involved and knew Matt would be ideal for the role, especially as he already has a Certificate of Food Safety in Catering. Matt, Mark and I arranged to meet up so Mark and Matt could get to know each other before Matt started the work trial at Chunk, as Mark was going to be Matt’s job coach. Mark described the role to Matt, which includes; steam cleaning bakers’ crates, washing up large pots and pans, making up flat-pack cardboard boxes and after he’s mastered all that, there are lots of other jobs that Matt will eventually be able to do! Three trial shifts later, he was offered a paid job - Well done Matt! Letti Finn (Senior Support Worker Access to Employment - Exmouth)
East Exmouth Team Exmouth Work Experience If you have never had a job before, and don’t know what kind of work you would like to do, sometimes it is a good idea to do some work experience. When new people are referred to Access to Employment, they have often just left college. Access to Employment can support you to do some time limited work experience to give you a taste of – • • • • •
Working as part of a team Meeting new people Learning new skills Understanding what it’s like to have a job Being professional
Tony’s work experience is at East Devon Pets & Supplies in Exmouth. Tony spends the morning cleaning the cages and aviaries.
Tom did six weeks of work experience at WH Smiths in Exmouth, re-stocking the shelves with the weekly delivery.
Wesley does some work for the British Heart Foundation in Exmouth, carrying bags of donated goods upstairs and re-stocking shelves. Letti Finn (Senior Support Worker
North Devon Adam’s Boston Tea Party Access to Employment North Devon found a paid job for Bideford job seeker Adam Fowler back in early December 2009 and five months on, Adam’s job is still going well. Adam is a kitchen assistant in award winning Barnstaple coffee shop “The Boston Tea Party” which has recently been voted, in a national poll as being in the top fifty English Coffee shops. Mr Jim Coslette the Manager of the shop says that “Adam is enthusiastic and helpful, a nice guy who is good to have here.” Adam has developed a good rapport with the staff and is very happy with his job. “I really like working at Boston Tea Party, the staff are all smashing and I‘ve been made very welcome here. I like the busy atmosphere, it’s really enjoyable. It’s great to work and earn money.” Rachel the kitchen manager said Adam is doing well and has no problems at all. Senior Support Worker Shaun Kelly who found the opportunity for Adam said “Adam’s a great chap; he’s a very enthusiastic person who is really keen to work and be involved. I am not at all surprised that it’s going so well. I am very impressed with everyone at Boston, they’re a very nice group of people. Jim the manager was very keen for Adam’s opportunity there to be a success, and I’m very pleased to say that this has proved to be the case.” Shaun Kelly (Senior Support Worker)
Mid Devon Town project up and running We launched the new town project in Tiverton on Monday 1st March 2010. The aim is to involve adults with learning disabilities in tidying up and taking a pride in the town centre and surrounds.
The work is funded jointly by the Town Council and Mid Devon District Council and we have begun with 3 men who are now employees of the Town Council doing a total of 17 hours a week.
The workers are initially being supported by Access to Employment and work Mondays and Thursdays 10.30 - 2.30 with 1 hour lunch break. The guys work alone or as a pair and have already gained a good understanding of the regular litter picking routes.
We also aim to include sweeping tasks and caring for plant displays in the summer. First monthly pay cheques were received on March 29th and all were very pleased to be paid!
We are still negotiating future development of the scheme including how best to supervise the workers and the possibility of widening opportunities to others. Chris Heard (Senior Support Worker)
Contacts North Devon: Barnstaple 01271 377 597
Exeter: 01392 682 086
South and West Devon: Kingsbridge and Tavistock 01548 853 855 01822 617 734
East Devon: Exmouth & Honiton 01395 225 664 01392 682 086
Mid Devon: Tiverton 01392 381 127
Editor: Kevin Gummow Contact 01271 377 597
Assistant Editor: Adrienne Russell