WorkFit Yorks & Humber has recently been working with Whiteghyll Plastics Ltd to secure permanent paid work for Kim.
Director, Richard Egan has been developing an opportunity for someone with Down’s syndrome to join the organisation and he is keen to promote equality and diversity. There are a number of significant benefits to employing a workforce that reflects the diversity of local communities, including positive change to workplace culture. From a customer viewpoint, there are the benefits of an enhanced image and external reputation.
Following a successful informal interview and a work trial, Kim started working in May for 10 hours a week over two days.
The staff at Whiteghyll who would be working with Kim were given Down’s syndrome awareness training.
Feedback from the training was very positive, “The training will help me develop a training plan for Kim and help me to understand the workplace from her perspective.”
Kim was also assigned a WorkFit Buddy to work closely with her to provide training and support. Deborah Johnson, who is Kim’s WorkFit Buddy in the Admin Office, says: “Kim is doing really well. She has picked up all of the tasks quickly and just gets on with her work. She is reliable and punctual and she brings a real energy to the office. She is a real asset to the organisation in so many ways. It’s really great that Whiteghyll have employed Kim and we are all pleased to be part of an inclusive workforce.”
Kim’s Administration Assistant role includes tasks such as; computer work, sorting and distributing post, helping with managing stationery and office supplies and assisting with photocopying, laminating and shredding.
Production Planning Co-Ordinator, Nick, says, “Kim puts a smile on everyone’s face and has had a very positive impact on the office. She is sociable and we all love having her here. She has quickly learnt our computer system to update and process parts of our works orders, which makes a huge difference to us in keeping on top of some of those tasks.”
Kim has completed some work in the production area at Whitghyll, alongside colleagues Prabah and Lynsey on how to mould standard PVC and acrylics.
Kim has received great support from colleagues at Whiteghyll, who were keen to embrace the WorkFit programme and to help her to learn new skills using a range of techniques.
Learning new skills and expanding her social circle are key parts of the role and she is delighted to be paid for her work. Kim travels to work by taxi and enjoys the feeling of independence that it brings. Kim says, “I like all the new friends I’ve made here and I like my job. I like getting paid and have bought some new clothes. The work is not difficult and I pick things up quickly. I like to work on the computer and my favourite job is to process works orders. I feel proud of myself and like to tell people about my job.”
If you’d like to get involved or find out more about WorkFit and how we support people with Down’s syndrome to access meaningful work opportunities, please contact the team on 0333 12 12 300 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit the WorkFit website: www.dsworkfit.org.uk