“I do the most fabulous job you have ever seen!…The skills I use at Nationwide are teamwork, following instructions and I am polite and friendly.”
This is Josiah.
The school that Josiah attends encourages all their pupils to do an external work experience placement. Inclusion and promotion of independence is at the heart of what the school does. Allowing their pupils to get plenty of workplace experience and develop their life skills is an important part of how the school helps them to live as independently as they can.
Josiah was introduced to Nationwide when he visited one of their offices with a school group. The staff who met the group were so impressed by the potential of Josiah and the other students that they decided to register with the WorkFit programme. The Employment Development Officer – South West then worked with them, doing an assessment of their workplace and providing free Down’s syndrome awareness training.
All relevant staff attended the training to learn about working with people with Down’s syndrome and feedback was positive: “I feel more confident now” and “People with Down’s syndrome want to work and learn and can work and learn”.
Josiah started his work experience, for one day a week, at the start of March 2017.
Josiah has really enjoyed his placement, and says “I work at Nationwide with Pete, Lauren, Sophie, Clare, Heather, Ben and Harry. I do the most fabulous job you have ever seen! I wear a Nationwide uniform. It is a blazer, shirt, trousers and black shoes. I have a name badge too. I love my uniform because I look so smart. My jobs are filing the paperwork and organising the leaflets in the Branch. The skills I use at Nationwide are teamwork, following instructions and I am polite and friendly. I love working at Nationwide because it makes me happy!”
Peter, Senior Branch Manager, is delighted by Josiah’s progress, commenting that: “He always has a smile on his face (unless he’s concentrating!) and the team love him. He looks so smart in his uniform and you can tell he is as proud to work here as we are to have him work with us. He always gets involved in everything going on in the branch and understands that there is time for fun and a time when his work must be done. The members also love to speak to Josiah and he is more than happy to tell them what he has been up to and how much he loves working for Nationwide! Every week he is excited about coming back and we always make sure he learns something new every week to keep him on his toes!
Josiah has been a fantastic addition to the team, his confidence has grown week on week. He has taken on more and more tasks as time has gone on and there are now at least 5 tasks he can complete every week with very little guidance from us”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit the WorkFit website www.dsworkfit.org.uk