WorkFit have recently had the pleasure of working with Horwich Cohen Coghlan (HCC) Solicitors in Manchester to create a permanent paid position for Bilal. Earlier in the year Bilal had completed a successful work experience placement at Eastlands Trust.
HCC Solicitors is a busy firm of specialist personal injury lawyers. They have a large and diverse workforce and provide a very supportive and inclusive environment for all their employees. They were keen to recruit a candidate through the WorkFit programme.
Before Bilal started his role HCC received two free sessions of Down’s syndrome awareness training. The training contains key information on how to employ someone with Down’s syndrome and how best to support them in the workplace. Staff members greatly enjoyed the training, with comments including “Excellent and worthwhile” and “Excellent and confirms that we are open and inclusive so not many changes to be made”.
After a successful supported interview Bilal started his job in October 2017, working ten hours a week. He provides admin support to HCC, collecting and delivering the post and other items around the office, creating files and delivering paper and toner. Bilal’s particular responsibility is to create the document files that are in high demand and used across the firm daily. He has also shown a strong awareness that the material he is handling is highly confidential and cannot be discussed with anybody.
Bilal has had an excellent introduction to the HCC team and is enjoying his job. He really enjoys the importance of his role and likes telling people about his job. Bilal also holds the company record for the most number of document files created in a day, an achievement of which he is rightly proud.
Bilal says: “I love working at HCC Solicitors, it makes me happy and proud that I work here. I like the staff and they are good to me. I have made some very good friends here. I like working with Simon, he always gives me good feedback which makes me feel really happy. The staff help me learn my tasks and made me feel very welcomed straight away. If I could I would work here full time because I have so much fun and it makes me smile”
Staff at HCC enjoy working with Bilal and he has integrated well into the team. One colleague commented: “Bilal has brought energy and enthusiasm to the team, his work ethic is incredible. Personally, it has exceeded all our expectations and I would recommend the programme to other employers.”
Patrick Cunningham, HR advisor for HCC, spoke of the company’s delight at Bilal’s progress, when he told us: “Bilal comes into work with a spring in his step. He is very polite and has a great sense of humour. He lifts the team moral. Bilal also has an excellent work ethic, once you have shown him a task he just gets on with the job. I think of him as Mr Positive.”
Patrick also commented on HCC’s partnership with WorkFit, saying that:
“My experience with WorkFit has been hugely positive and enlightening. The programme is informative and the training provided gave our team a sound foundation of knowledge. We have received great support from the WorkFit Team, which gave us great confidence in hiring an employee with Down syndrome”.
Bilal is having an excellent time and is receiving outstanding support from colleagues at HCC Solicitors, who are passionate and committed in supporting the WorkFit programme. We are very grateful for their support and hope to continue our relationship in future.
WorkFit supports people with Down’s syndrome to access meaningful work opportunities that can benefit the rest of their lives. For more information about WorkFit please contact the team on 0333 12 12 300 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
WorkFit North is possible thanks to the Big Lottery Fund
For more information visit the WorkFit website: www.dsworkfit.org.uk