“He is always focused and does his best at every task” – Luke secures a permanent job at Fenwick

In January 2017 Luke started working in one of Fenwick’s popular in-store restaurants. After a successful probationary period, he is now on a permanent contract and works at the store two days a week. WorkFit have been working with Luke since 2016 and we’re thrilled that he now has a permanent, paid contract doing a job that he loves.

When we first met with Luke in the autumn of 2016 we worked with him to create his CV. Luke told us what he felt would be a challenge in the workplace and what having a job would mean to him. It was clear from the outset that he was determined to demonstrate his abilities and learn new skills. Jan, Luke’s mum, told us that although Luke always comes across as a confident and positive individual this was often bravado. She also explained that having a job and earning his own money would be hugely beneficial to his self-esteem.

Luke was a loyal customer at his local Fenwick department store and was keen to explore any opportunities to work for the company.  We contacted the store to find out what opportunities might be available. Working with David, Restaurant Manager, we created a role for Luke that would play to his strengths and provide some scope for new challenges as well.

Luke (pictured with colleague Sarah) is very much a people person and his personality shines through at work. Colleagues enjoy working with him and customers are keen to chat with him when he is clearing and cleaning tables.

David has been very supportive of Luke from the outset. He has encouraged Luke to demonstrate his strengths as well as building in some elements of challenge to Luke’s role that help Luke to achieve more and realise his potential. David’s positivity and encouragement have helped Luke to flourish.

David told us “Luke joined us at the start of 2017 and picked things up really well. He is always focused and does his best at every task. He understands that it is different when he is at work than it is when he’s a customer in the store. Luke is always focused, he takes a methodical approach and his work area is always clean and tidy. Luke is well-liked and respected as part of our team and we want to continue to give Luke every opportunity to shine”

Luke prepares food in the kitchens as well as clearing and cleaning tables. Luke particularly enjoys this task as it gives him the opportunity to chat to customers, many of whom are regulars who know him well. Luke has set himself personal goals, such as timing how long it takes him to fill the miniature milk jugs, aiming to improve his times as he gets more confident.

Liz Robertson, Head of Human Resources, has been instrumental in working with WorkFit, David and other colleagues at Fenwick to develop the opportunity for Luke. Liz and David’s support for Luke and WorkFit demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to encouraging equality and diversity.

In October 2017 Luke was a guest speaker at the WorkFit North East Conference. You can read about this at: https://www.dsworkfit.org.uk/2017/12/11/workfit-candidates-showcase-their-achievements-at-the-north-east-regional-conference

At the conference Luke told us what his job means to him “I love it there. I love working with David, he’s a great guy. I’ve learned about what I need to do and I know how important it is to be good at hygiene and Health & Safety. I’m so happy about my job”

WorkFit North is possible due to the Big Lottery Fund England.

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 dsworkfit@downs-syndrome.org.uk

For more information visit the WorkFit website: www.dsworkfit.org.uk