Ben is autistic and he is supported by Voyage Care in Warwickshire. He volunteered at our Hinckley Day Service for three and a half years and now works there as a paid employee.
We spoke to Ben to find out more about his working day.
“Hello, my name is Ben. I am 26 years old and I work 10 hours a week at Hinckley Day Service. I volunteered at the day service for three and a half years and that gave me more confidence. I got the opportunity to become an employee for Voyage Care and started this job at the end of September 2016.
“My role is answering the phone, taking messages for the day service manager or other members of staff. I do some administration work, including emailing, making some phone calls. I really feel great about my job.
“I enjoy being given responsibilities and jobs to do and I enjoy working for Voyage Care. I am a saver kind of person with money. I am just going to spend my wages when I treat myself or my family.”
We spoke to Ben’s manager, Ainsley, to find out how Ben has settled into his job.
She said: “Ben continues to thrive in his work, he has learnt to complete new admin tasks and the quality of his work continues to improve. Ben went from a volunteer to a paid employee after carrying out a reception role and instead of employing someone else, the team thought Ben would be a great fit.”
Ainsley and her team developed an outcome-based support guide to help Ben develop his skills and prepare for his interview.
She said: “Employment checks were carried out the same as any other candidate, Ben has been DBS checked and we were able to get two professional character references from his social worker and a previous manager that used to work at Voyage when Ben was a volunteer.
“We amended his job description to include roles that he was able to complete and put in work place adjustments to support Ben in his role. This role gave Ben a sense of purpose and self-worth, he thoroughly enjoys working here and his long term aim was always to access paid employment.”
As well as improving his admin skills, staff at the service have seen a real difference in Ben.
“Ben has always been a happy bubbly individual but lacks in self-confidence, in the past this has had an effect on his behaviour and wellbeing. Since being in his paid role there has been no incidences of agitation from Ben,” said Ainsley.