Amy has moved from a work experience to a paid job at the Marine Hotel

“Hi I’m Amy and I will be serving you this morning.”

Amy had recently completed a supported internship with her local hospital and was unsure about her next career steps. She registered online with WorkFit after hearing about the employment programme through her parent’s activities with their local Down’s syndrome support.

Amy and her mum, Tracey met with the EDO for the South West to discuss Amy’s skills and previous work experience in hospitality and tourism.

WorkFit had previously been contacted by the management team at the Marine Hotel, who were keen to be involved with the project.

The staff was at first unsure about working with a colleague with Down’s syndrome, so required the WorkFit employer training as soon as possible. Key members of staff attended the training session, where they discussed day-to-day routines, learned how to use visual aids to help Amy with the hotel’s layout. Staff members commented on how useful it was to understand more about the condition, for example, how it is better to show a colleague with Down’s syndrome a task rather than just talking about it. After the training, the feedback showed that staff felt better prepared to work with Amy: “I have learnt a lot about people that have Down’s syndrome. I think now I am comfortable working with a person with Down’s syndrome.”

Amy and her colleagues at The Marine Hotel PaigntonAfter Amy’s first day, other staff members said they were ready to recommend WorkFit!

Following a successful interview and a short work trial at the Marine Hotel, Amy is now a paid, permanent member of staff working alongside Chloe and her team leader Melanie.

Amy’s mum says, “I should like to thank ALL of the staff at the Marine Hotel for embracing my daughter, Amy, with a positive approach and making her feel a part of the team. Employing a person with Down’s syndrome, I am sure, may seem a daunting prospect especially when you don’t know what to expect. Amy loves going to work, loves her new friends and feels that she has achieved a lot in the short time that she has been there by being given more responsibility Amy hard at work at The Marine Hotel, Paigntoneach day. Thank you for giving Amy the chance to show what she can do and how she can do it all with a smile. She really does feel like a valued member of the team……and loves getting that pay packet!”

Amy has various tasks in the restaurant:

  • Amy is responsible for tables one, two and six.
  • Every day Amy lays the tables ready for the appropriate amount of diners (ensuring the correct cutlery and condiments on the tables took a little practice, but Amy mastered the technique quickly!)
  • Amy introduces herself to the customers and takes the orders for tea, coffee and asks if anything else is needed. Amy, who has been diagnosed with coeliac disease, is able to help guests when they ask for gluten–free food from the kitchen.
  • After the service is finished, she will lay the tables for the next day, folding napkins and setting out cutlery to the precise layout.

Chloe, Amy’s work colleague says, “Amy is such a lovely girl with a ‘can do’ attitude and is never funny about being asked to do things and won’t say no. It’s been a brilliant experience.”

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For more information about WorkFit please contact the team on 0333 1212 300 or email us on dsworkfit@downs-syndrome.org.uk

If you would like to find a job with WorkFit, click here to register now!

If you are an employer and would like to find out more about WorkFit click here.

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