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Learning disability work experience week at NHS England – Gabby and Debbi

NHS England is committed to seeing an increase in the number of people with learning disabilities employed across the NHS. Work experience is one potential pathway into employment and, as part of Mencap’s recent Learning Disability Work Experience Week 2016; two work experience candidates, Gabby and Debbi spent a week at NHS England.

Gabby and Debbi worked within the business support team of the Strategy Group, in roles that involved a range of administrative and clerical tasks. As part of this, both candidates also met Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, and spent some time with his team. They asked him questions about his day to day job and spoke to his team to understand their roles and responsibilities in the Chief Executive and Chair’s Office.

Gabby’s experience

I am 29 years old and I live in Shoreditch. I am very friendly, I love working and enjoy meeting new people. I have previously had jobs as a business support assistant, and a mail assistant at Disability Rights UK. I really enjoyed my time here working for NHS England; it’s an amazing work environment. I have loved getting to know people and learning new skills; everyone has been really friendly and welcomed me to the team. I have liked booking meeting rooms and printing train tickets and especially working in a team. One of the main highlights from my work placement was getting to meet Simon Stevens; he was so friendly and made me feel very comfortable. I would definitely like to work in the NHS again.”

Debbi’s experience

I am 49 years old and I live in Peckham in London. My life has had its up and downs. I have had jobs in retail in the past, and I really would like to work again. I love it here at NHS England, and I have enjoyed getting to see what the NHS is like, most importantly getting to meet the Chief Executive, Simon Stevens. People have been really friendly and helpful and I was always really busy doing lots of administration and photocopying. It was a good challenge getting experience of working in an office and learning how everything happens. The main difficulty was getting the computer working on the first day. I hope that this will give me an experience to get a paid job.”

How to get involved

To help you get started with hosting a learning disability candidate for work experience, or for information on other pathways into employment for people with learning disabilities, check out our tools and guidance at the link below. You can also use the BASE-UK directory to find a local support organisation.

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