The Surrey Choices EmployAbility team goes above and beyond to secure work placements for students they continue to support!
David O’Connor, an Employment Support Specialist here at Surrey Choices tells us one of the latest good news stories from the EmployAbility team, working together to find the best job for a young individual with Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
EmployAbility were introduced to a young man at one of the number of schools we work with in Surrey. This particular individual was unable to leave his room due to his Autism and OCD, and therefore struggled with everyday tasks like leaving his home. After a few times meeting him, the EmployAbility team managed to get him in a car in the last week of June 2018 to visit a number of organisations for work experience which very clearly made him uncomfortable.
In September, the academic year begun and we slowly managed to get him out of his room and into a placement in a local computer shop, fixing the computers in the back room. Gradually he started to get involved with serving the customers, taking orders and listening to enquiries they had. This placement was a fantastic stepping stone for the individual we were supporting, as although it was a very delicate situation to begin with he slowly became comfortable in his working environment.
By December 2018, he was independent and Employment Support Specialist, Tracy Ford helped to get him an apprenticeship. Unfortunately the apprenticeship provider collapsed half way through, due to the EmployAbility team maintaining contact and building trust with his family, we were able to intervene quickly and support him with other applications. Nicky Harding, Employment and Communities Manager, Angie Cogbill, Employment and Community Service Co-ordinator and Becky Grammel, Employment Support Specialist, were all instrumental in putting the support in place quickly.
With little mentoring, this individual now works full time as the sole software engineer for the environmental engineers that look after the flood defences for the south including in part, the Thames Barrier. He travels to London independently by train and is learning the tube on his own, he even gave a presentation at a management meeting. He earns very good money and loves every minute.
Read the first line again, that was exactly three years ago!