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In the latest of a series of blogs on the NHS Learning Disability Employment Programme, dad Trevor Clower reflects on the positive impact it’s had on the life of his son, Scott:
At 37-years-old, our son had a fairly standard routine.
Scott has a learning disability and autism and five days-a week he attends a day centre. On Wednesdays he enjoys an evening social, while once a month spends time with his befriender.
But as Scott’s parents, we could see he had the potential and desire to gain employment and would benefit from the confidence, independence and skills development that a job that was the right fit would give him.
Scott always expressed a particular interest in doing a manual job, so he could use his hands and skills in a practical way and earn his own money. With the support of Nottingham City Council and their pathway to work programme, we identified a suitable job our son in one of the council parks garage depots. This was a job that appealed to Scott’s interests and desire to enter a practical role.
As parents, although we were nervous, we felt reassured that Scott would be supported during his employment time. The hours Scott spent at work were gradually expanded as his confidence and skills developed.
As soon as Scott started, he told us he enjoyed the job immensely. In contrast to his previous routine, one of the best things about the job has been the chance for him to get to talk to lots of different people during his working day. Scott liked telling us about his working day, and was always particularly keen to know what sandwiches his Mum had packed for him to take to work.
Working in the garage has made a huge difference to his enthusiasm – he has taken pride in telling us how he helped to empty oil out of vehicle engines, as well as going out on test drives after the repair. Scott got on well with his colleagues in the garage as well as the person from the Council assigned to advocate for him.
We have certainly seen how our son has grown into a worldlier person while in work and the positive impact it has had on him.