I first met Daniel and his mother Katrina in October last year. When we met Daniel he told me that he was looking for more variety in his week and would like the opportunity to try some work experience.
He had some experience of working in a café environment, but wanted to try something else. Daniel told me that he would like to work in his local library. He was a regular visitor to the library and enjoyed his time there doing his work on the computers or borrowing his favourite books and DVD’s. He already knew some of the library staff who seemed very kind and welcoming.
We discussed the various potential roles at the library and Daniel felt he had so much to offer as an employee. Daniel is a very polite young man who takes great pride in organising his many files in his home filing systems. He is also a great communicator and loves to engage with the general public.
I agreed to speak with the library and arranged a meeting with the library management team. They were very open to the idea of offering Daniel a work experience opportunity. They knew Daniel from his many visits and agreed that he would be a real asset to their library. I met Daniel and supported him with his work experience application forms and also his DBS check. Once the forms were submitted we had to wait six weeks for them to be processed.
I arranged a meeting between the library staff, Daniel and myself. It gave the staff the opportunity to meet Daniel properly and explain the role in more detail including all the various tasks involved. Daniel really enjoyed meeting everyone and we agreed that he would start work the following week. I spent time with the library staff explaining how to manage the placement. I explained the importance of planning Daniel’s work in advance. I also explained the way Daniel learnt new tasks and the need to break tasks down.
Three weeks ago, I attended the library for Daniel’s first day and he looked very smart and was ready to begin his new placement. He attends the library with his support worker who helps him learn and master his new tasks. Daniel has a variety of different jobs at the library including sorting out books and DVDs to put back on the shelves, cutting out pictures for the children’s group to colour in, helping put up library display stands, shredding old paper and photocopying.
Daniel is learning new skills and is really enjoying his work experience at a library. Daniel enjoys spending time with the library team.
WorkFit Wales looks to support young people aged 14-25 years with Down’s syndrome access meaningful work opportunities that can benefit the rest of their lives. We need your local knowledge and on-going support to help us achieve this. We are guessing for every young person with Down’s syndrome there is a parent/relative/friend who works, who could potentially ask at their place of work? Do you know of inclusive employers, employers who are currently or who have the potential to support people with Down’s syndrome?
Tell us who the employers are by contacting the WorkFit team on 0333 12 12 300 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit the WorkFit website http://www.dsworkfit.org.uk/