Diane has a paid job at Edinburgh Woollen Mill

WorkFit North West has recently been working with Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) to fill a vacancy for a Sales Advisor.

Edinburgh Woolen MillFollowing a successful informal interview and work trial, Diane began a permanent paid role at EWM, working in the store doing a range of tasks including opening, preparing and displaying stock, advising customers, processing sales on the till, replenishing stock etc.

Prior to Diane’s starting in her role as Sales Advisor, Down’s syndrome awareness training was provided to staff, including how to make adjustments to tasks in order to give Diane the information that she would need to do the job in a way that would suit her learning profile.

Feedback from the training was very positive with comments like “The training has helped me to adapt to different ways of learning. I am more aware of the need for effective communication and being clear and precise.”

Diane at work at Edinburgh Woolen MillDiane is a hugely popular member of staff and works in a team that are enthusiastic and committed to supporting her. Already she has learned a lot of product knowledge about the range of stock on sale in the store.

Diane says I’ve learned a lot about the products and I know the store layout well. It’s a good team here and I really enjoy working with Carol and Teresa and I like everyone a lot. I open the new stock and have to use the till system to check prices. Some things in the sale need to have a new price tag so I do that. I work hard to remember what I need to do. I’m excited about learning to use the tills. I’m taking my mum to the new Costa Coffee shop for a treat when I get paid and I’m going to buy some new jeans and some CDs.

Diane works on two days at the store and is very popular with her customers. It makes her happy when someone she knows comes into the shop and sees her working there. She really enjoys it, likes everyone and looks forward to work.

Diane at work at Edinburgh Woolen MillDiane’s parents Barbara and David are thrilled with her success in securing the job: We are delighted that Diane is performing well and that Teresa and the team are so positive about her.

We would strongly recommend WorkFit to any parents who are having difficulty in finding a job for their child. WorkFit is a tried and tested programme achieving wonderful results.

It has been a pleasure discussing Diane’s hopes for her future and it’s great that WorkFit can provide such support to individuals with DS and help parents through, what can sometimes be a daunting concept of seeing their child enter the world of work.”

Diane and Teresa, the store managerStore manager Teresa (pictured) says “Diane is coming out of her shell more and you can see her confidence growing. She is quite literally a ray of sunshine and she has fit effortlessly into the team. She is a great example of how someone with DS can be a great asset in the workplace. Employing Diane has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for everyone and, on a personal level, it has really made me think about what’s important and how easy it is to be more inclusive when the rewards are a new member of the team who is reliable, motivated, excited to learn and willing to work hard. I’m so glad that I signed up to WorkFit and have been able to give Diane an opportunity to start her career in the retail sector. It’s inspired me to look at other areas where I can make a difference to someone’s life and I would say to any employers out there that they should “go for it” and not be afraid as the positive impact and rewards of participating are amazing”.

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To find out more about WorkFit and how we support people with Down’s syndrome to access meaningful work opportunities that can benefit the rest of their lives, please contact the team on 0333 12 12 300 or email us on dsworkfit@downs-syndrome.org.uk

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