Case Studies

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Case Studies

Helping school-leaver Jamie to find work experience

When Jamie left school, he had reached his full classroom learning potential. So instead of going to college, he wanted to develop his catering skills in a working environment.

We started working with Jamie before he left school, to help him find work experience places in professional kitchens. Once he left school, he joined the Surrey EmployAbility Pathway, which helps young disabled people to prepare for work. This gives him three days a week of work experience and a day of vocational activities.

Jamie’s work experience is in the University of Surrey’s Hillside restaurants. On his vocational day he goes to an adult cooking class. In the morning, he goes with his buddy to the supermarket and buys ingredients independently. In the afternoon, he follows instructions to cook a meal from scratch.

The classes and the work experience have helped Jamie’s confidence. He chooses not to interact verbally, but once he has settled into an environment, he can relax and respond to the people he is working with. Jamie has become much more confident and the Pathway will give him work and social skills that will help him look for paid work when he is ready.


Helping Jenny be more independent

Jenny was referred to EmployAbility because she needed help to find a paid job. Jenny was making several changes in her life – she wanted to move into her own place, and had recently become unemployed.

Jenny wanted to be a shop assistant or have a job that involved working with customers. She had already started volunteering in customer service roles at the Harlequin and Redhill Hub to get some experience, and really wanted to use her skills to get a paid job.

Once Jenny had found a new flat and settled in, Jenny worked with an Employment Support Officer who met her at home to see what she wanted to do. We helped with job searching, writing a CV and completing applications.

Support that works with you

Only a few weeks after coming to EmployAbility, Jenny was given an interview at Londis for a shop assistant role. We gave her some interview training and she was offered a part-time paid position. We helped her with the practical changes to her benefit payments, looked at her contract of employment with her and helped set up payments from her employer to her bank account.

We stayed in touch for several months after Jenny got her job to make sure everything was working out well. As Jenny became more comfortable and confident in her new job, we reduced our support, but we’re always here if she needs us.

To see if EmployAbility can help you, please get in touch with Christina Earl, EmployAbility Team Manager at



Current News & Events

Wisley Art of Nature exhibition

Posted by Surrey Choices on September 25, 2014

Artists from four Surrey Choices centres showed their creative side in the Glasshouse Gallery at RHS Garden Wisley. Inspired by nature after visits to the gardens, they created pictures, pottery and 3-D art to display in the Wisley Glasshouse Gallery.

The artists from ArtBox Surrey, Bentley, Colebrook and Nexus were invited to a preview morning. They got a chance to show visitors their work and hear the positive feedback about the quality and imagination in the work.

Comments in the visitors’ book included:-

‘Wonderful and uplifting’

‘Fantastic artists – very inspiring’

‘An awe-inspiring exhibition from truly gifted people’

Plans for the next piece of joint work between RHS Garden Wisley and Surrey Choices artists are already underway.

Groups dip and swish in Bushy Park

Posted by Surrey Choices on August 13, 2014

AboutUs have been working with the Field Studies Council to set up learning sessions.  They are a charity which helps people learn about the natural world and the environment.

People from Fernleigh, The Larches and the Growth team were the first groups to visit The Stockyard at Bushy Park.

Groups did pond dipping to see what insects were living in the water.  Finds included a rare water scorpion and everyone looked at the insects caught under the microscope.

They also did meadow swishing to see what insects were living in the grasses.

Both groups really enjoyed their sessions.  The Larches group said ‘It couldn’t have been a better day!’

Hopefully more groups will visit The Stockyard in the future.

Thank you Jo!

To find out more about the Field Studies courses at Bushy Park, visit

Fan-tastic Wisley summer craft workshops!

Posted by Surrey Choices on

As part of AboutUs’ ongoing work with RHS Garden Wisley, a day of free summer crafts’ workshops were organised.

People from Guildford, Camberley and Fernleigh had a great time at workshops.  Andrea and Viv from RHS Garden Wisley got people making lavender bags and decorating wooden boxes to put them in.

Groups also learnt about herbs and their different smells, as well as decorating their own fans.  A perfect thing to do on one of the hottest days of the year!

Wisley are planning workshops on seeds and apple pressing for day service groups later in the year.  These are already booked up, as they are so popular.

Thank you Andrea and Viv!

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